What is Agroforestry?

The simplest explanation can be found right in the name – a marriage between agriculture and forestry where each side of the relationship is managed for maximum benefit.  Agroforestry can also mean many things depending on who you are and where you live.  Permaculture, productive conservation, third crops, right plant right place; all of these can be achieved through thoughtful agroforestry. 

Below are a few resources to get you started learning more:
National Agroforestry Center
The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri
Association for Temperate Agroforestry (AFTA)
Savanna Institute

How to get started as a landowner!

Landowners have many choices about what crops to grow. The decision often boils down to economics and maximizing return on investment for a particular crop on a particular acre of ground. However, other factors come into play as well.

This document features six different perennial crop options and has been organized in such a way that landowners and farmers can get a feel for whether a particular crop makes sense for them.

Agroforestry crop case studies

Browse some real-life examples of landowners that have introduced agroforestry crops onto their properties:

Agroforestry Farm Crawls

Promoting agroforestry and the demand for agroforestry crops can be as simple as exposing people to the sights, sounds, and tastes of their local farms! Watch below for a video about organizing an agroforestry farm crawl.

Get inspired!

Elana Gingerich’s farming family instilled in her a legacy of responsible land stewardship. Learn how she has utilized agroforestry to control soil erosion and produce double crops of both Chestnut and Paw Paw at her East Holbrook Chestnut Orchard.

Join Jane and Tom Sweeney of Hazelnut Farm of Hubbard Trail as they retell their journey getting started with growing their hazelnut grove and how they have used their smaller plot of land to produce a low-maintenance, highly nutritious crop.

Jeff and Deb Sindelar are enjoying their retirement by staying active in managing their 2.5 acre berry patch in Newhall, Iowa. Trying something new led them to the tasty and quick-to-produce honeyberries that are now growing on the farm.