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National Center for Appropriate Technology


The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has been promoting sustainable living for over 40 years. Established in 1976, we are a national nonprofit that helps people by championing small-scale, local, and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities, and protect natural resources. NCAT was originally created during the oil crisis of the 1970s to develop inexpensive energy-saving strategies for low-income communities. In 1987, as a natural outgrowth of our alternative and sustainable energy work for farmers and ranchers, we expanded our mission to include sustainable agriculture. Every day, we help individuals find solutions that will ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a world with cleaner air and water, efficient and renewable energy production, and healthy foods grown with sustainable techniques. We have a well-deserved national reputation for providing research-based technical assistance and information in the fields of sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy, and community development. In recent years, our agriculture work has also focused on small-scale intensive farming, urban farming, and local foods; assistance to small farmers, beginning and new farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, and veterans wishing to become farmers.

Adaptation Phase: 
  • Sharing Lessons
Sector Addressed: 
  • Agriculture
  • Rural / Indigenous Livelihoods
Service Type: 
  • Build Physical Infrastructure
  • Communicate and Engage
  • Develop and Deploy Technology
  • Plan
  • Shift Management Practices and Recurring Behavior
  • United States
  • Northwest
  • Southwest
  • Central
  • Northeast
  • Southeast & Caribbean

Solutions Offered


NCAT's Energy Corps members assist rural communities in assessing climate vulnerability, conduct GHG inventories, and prepare climate action plans encompassing mitigation, adaptation and resilience. Through these efforts in local communities with local NGOs, local governments and school districts, we also Communicate and Engage diverse stakeholders at the community level.

Develop and Deploy Technology

Our agricultural specialists advise farmers about practices to improve soil health as a means of reducing exposure to drought, heavy precipitation, and other climate and weather-related impacts.

Build Physical Infrastructure

Our Energy Services staff conducts commercial-sector energy audits and outreach to residential-sector contractors about energy-saving steps that also reduce vulnerability to extreme temperatures and breakdowns in energy transmission systems.

Shift Management Practices and Recurring Behavior

We educate farmers and others in the food system about the multiple benefits of adopting the five principles of soil health as a central strategy to building resilience in agricultural systems.