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Prince Charles Stresses Need for Sustainable Agriculture During US Visit

Britain's Prince Charles delivers the keynote address on sustainable agriculture, at Gaston Hall at Georgetown University in Washington, May 4, 2011

Britain's Prince Charles has stressed the need for sustainable agriculture, saying it will be paramount to creating lasting food systems for the future.

The prince, an environmental advocate, spoke Wednesday at a sustainable food production conference at Georgetown University in Washington. He meets later in the day with U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Prince of Wales said the global ecosystem is, "to say the least, under stress" and not sustainable. He said the heart of the problem lies in what he called the industrialized world's disregard for the importance of sustainable local farming.

He urged action to produce a more resilient system of food production to ensure a more viable future for the global environment. Prince Charles says local, sustainable farming is key in maintaining the resiliency of the entire ecosystem.

The heir to the British throne has had his own organic farm for 25 years. The farm raises animals native to the United Kingdom, sells organic food and educates people on food, farming, health and the environment.

The prince's visit comes just days after the marriage of his elder son Prince William to Kate Middleton in a ceremony broadcast worldwide.

Prince Charles is on a three-day official tour of the United States. He arrived Tuesday and visited the U.S. Supreme Court for a reception and toured an urban farm that grows food for low-income city residents.

Also Wednesday, he will attend an event to support British and American armed forces deployed overseas.

The prince last visited the United States in 2007 with his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. The couple attended events in New York and Philadelphia and visited four other U.S. cities.