The Agroforestry Academy - Green Lands Blue Waters

Alley Cropping
Forest Farming
The Agroforestry Academy:
A Crash Course to
Educate Natural Resource Professionals
and Develop the Knowledge Infrastructure
Riparian Buffers
Michael A. Gold, 2MAAWG
University of Missouri
Mid-American Agroforestry Working Group
The “Get Smart” Analogy
• Experience over 25 years has
taught us that multiple “doors” lie
between the promise and the reality
of widespread agroforestry
adoption and utilization
• It is essential to identify the doors
(e.g., culture, tradition, knowledge
gaps, science, risk, funding, policy)
• And do the work to open them
Where is all the Agroforestry?
 Significant advances made in the science and
practice of agroforestry over the past 25 years.
 However, on-the-ground application of
agroforestry practices has lagged.
 Exception: USDA government subsidized
windbreaks and riparian buffers.
 Creating greater awareness of agroforestry’s
benefits (financial and ecological) will lead to:
 Increased acceptance and adoption of
 Result in increased financial security,
 Enhance environmental protection for all
classes of farmers, ranchers, forest owners, and
Background Issues – Knowledge Infrastructure
The Knowledge Infrastructure for Agriculture
• Huge information network supporting the
Commodity groups (Farm Bureau, Corn and
Soybean Growers Assns, Cattlemen, etc.)
Agribusiness (e.g., Cargill, ADM, Monsanto, seed
and equipment dealers), Certified Crop Advisors
NRCS/FSA assistance widely available
Land Grant University research, education and
USDA funding programs – abundant in supply
Farm Bill safety net to offset losses
Background Issues – Knowledge Infrastructure
An Uphill Battle
The Knowledge Infrastructure for Agroforestry
Paper thin information network supporting the
No agribusiness or commodity group support
No Land Grant support in research, education or
No network of “advisors”
No USDA research $$$, no policy support
No tradition, no culture
High financial risk, no farmer safety nets
No value given to non-market environmental benefits
Chestnut Training Program “Graduates”
Chinese Chestnut – Pumpkin Intercrop
Napton, MO
Chestnut Training Program “Graduates”
Chinese Chestnut – Winter Wheat Intercrop
Napton, MO
*Key Organizations Supporting
Development of the Knowledge
Infrastructure for Agroforestry
 Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA), 1935
 USDA Soil Conservation Service, 1935 (Dustbowl and CCC)
 University of Guelph, (1st NAAC), 1989
 Iowa State University, Riparian Buffers, Bear Creek, 1990
 NAC (Center for Semi-Arid Agroforestry), 1990 (USFS/NRCS)
 Cornell University, Center for the Environment, 1993
 AFTA, Association for Temperate Agroforestry, 1993
 University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Windbreaks
 UMCA, University of Missouri, 1998
 1890 AF Consortium
 CINRAM, University of Minnesota, 1998 (???)
 Virginia Tech, Forest Farming, (
 NC State University, Forest Farming (
 Mid-American Agroforestry Working Group (MAAWG),
*List not intended to be complete, others have been involved over time
(PENN ST, U of KY, ORE ST, U of FL, U of GA, ARS in W. VA and ARK, …)
Key Publications Supporting the Development
of the Knowledge Infrastructure (list not inclusive)
 Tree Crops for Energy Co-production on Farms, 1980, S.E.R.I.
 Agroforestry Systems Journal, 1982-present
 Proceedings of North American Agroforestry Conferences,
1989 – 2013
 Agroforestry: An Integrated Land Use Management System for
Production and Farmland Conservation, 1994, SCS
 Proceedings from the Specialty Forest Products/Forest Farming
Conference, 1998, CINRAM
 Agroforestry in the United States, Research and Technology Transfer
Needs for the Next Millennium, 2000, AFTA
 Conservation Buffers: Design Guidelines for Buffers, Corridors,
and Greenways, 2010, NAC
 Using NRCS Technical and Financial Assistance to Establish
Elderberry, 2011, UMCA
 USDA Agroforestry Strategic Framework, 2011-2016
 Financial Decision Support Tools, 2011, UMCA
 Training Manual for Applied Agroforestry Practices, 2013,
 Handbook for Agroforestry Planning and Design, 2013, UMCA
 Agroforestry: USDA Reports to America, FY 2011–2012, 2013
Agroforestry Adoption – 4 P’s
To achieve agroforestry adoption will require:
 Partnerships
 Programs
 Professionals
 Peer-to-Peer Learning
The Agroforestry Academy is based on:
 An established partnership – MAAWG
 Funded by a program – NCR-SARE PDP
 Designed to train professionals who will
 Be involved in follow on Peer-to-Peer
Agroforestry Academy - Partnerships
Mid-American Agroforestry Working Group (MAAWG)
Michael Gold:
Mihaela Cernusca:
Diomy Zamora:
Jeri Neal:
Shibu Jose:
Larry Godsey:
Richard Schultz:
Richard Straight:
Dusty Walter:
Andy Mason:
Richard Warner:
Other Trainers
Bruce Wight:
David Shelton:
John Munsell:
Doug Wallace:
Mark Kennedy:
Farmers - 2013
Nicola McPherson:
Dan Shepherd:
Terry Durham:
Fred Martz
University of Missouri, Center for Agroforestry
University of Missouri, Center for Agroforestry
University of Minnesota
Iowa State University, Leopold Center, MAAWG
University of Missouri, Center for Agroforestry
Missouri Valley College (formerly MU Center for Agroforestry)
Iowa State University
USDA Forest Service, National Agroforestry Center
University of Missouri (formerly Center for Agroforestry)
USDA Forest Service, National Agroforestry Center (Director)
University of Minnesota, Green Lands Blue Waters
USDA NRCS National Forester (retired)
University of Nebraska
Va Tech
USDA NRCS National Agroforester (retired)
NRCS Missouri
Ozark Forest Mushrooms, MO
Shepherd Farms, MO
Eridu Farms, MO
Martz Family Farm, MO
Agroforestry Academy - Program
Project Goal and Objectives
 To achieve on-the-ground adoption of
 Create a regional agroforestry knowledge
۞Train a core group of individuals who deal
with land management issues and/or interact
with farmers and landowners.
۞Facilitate collaboration among researchers,
extension personnel, crop advisors,
practitioners, diverse disciplines,
departments and colleges, and different
agencies and organizations.
Agroforestry Academy – Professionals
Agriculture and Natural Resource professionals
 Univ. Extension personnel
 USDA NRCS, and FSA field staff
 University faculty (1862, 1890, 1994 - regional
Colleges or Universities)
 Sustainable agriculture /permaculture leaders
including USDA SARE staff
 Conservation groups (especially w/tree or forest
missions e.g., Trees Forever) and similar
organizations from MO, IA, MN, NE, WI
• Certified Crop Advisors
• Soil and Water Conservation District personnel
• Farm Bureau, Farmers Union
• Others
Agroforestry Academy – Approach
 Updated agroforestry training manual.
 Created new Handbook for Planning/Design.
 MAAWG/NAC, 3 new agroforestry case
 Monthly teleconference planning meetings
w/project team (MAAWG coordinated).
 Conduct Agroforestry Academy.
o Organize and conduct week long “Train-the-trainer”
Agroforestry Academy, 2013 and 2014.
o Classroom presentations, field visits to practitioners’
farms, and a “hands-on landowner case study” group
project exercise, with field visits focused on
agroforestry planning and design.
MAAWG Project Outputs - 2013
 Awarded SARE PDP grant to hold Agroforestry
 Updated agroforestry training curricula
Release and distribution of the updated 2013 Agroforestry Training Manual;
New Handbook for Agroforestry Planning and Design.
New agroforestry case studies.
 One Agroforestry Academy per year, 2013 and 2014.
 First Academy completed, August 2013
Spin off trainings including other regions
 A total of 27 professionals from 7 states trained
during the 2013 Academy .
 Online learning community network for academy
participants and graduates.
Recorded workshops will be available online, UMCA
b) Online directory of agroforestry professionals and
practitioners (in process).
c) Regional inventory of on-the-ground applications of
agroforestry practices (biggest challenge).
Images from the 2013 Academy
Dan Shepherd, Pecan
Orchard, Alley Cropping
Controls Value Chain
Terry Durham, Eridu Farms,
Elderberries, Creating
Industry, Value Added
Lincoln Univ., Busby Farm Goat
Silvopasture, Control Invasives,
Reduce Fire Risk
MU Horticulture and
Agroforestry Research
Center, Chestnut Production
Dr. Andy Mason, Agroforestry Academy
Classroom Sessions
Post Academy Evaluation and Feedback
 Participants very satisfied with Academy.
 Overall quality rated excellent = 71%, good = 29%.
 Topics covered (4.58), content (4.56), organization
(4.56) and time for discussion (4.12) all received high
marks (on a 1-5 point scale).
 Top rated aspects of Academy (5 pt scale) were:
 farm visits (4.6), silvopasture (4.48),
 alley cropping (4.2), training manual (4.09),
 forest farming/windbreaks (4.08),
 Handbook (4.05), case study (4.0).
Post Academy Evaluation and Feedback
 Major gains in subject matter knowledge
Agroforestry Policy
Silvopasture Practices
Creating an Agroforestry Plan
Marketing Agroforestry Products
Agroforestry Extension & Outreach
Tax Considerations / Incentives
Forest Farming
Scale: 1 (nothing), 2 (very little), 3 (some), 4 (quite a bit) and 5 (a lot)
Post Academy Evaluation and Feedback
 100% indicated that they benefited from
information about agroforestry practices
 96% motivated to continue learning about
agroforestry and to disseminate information about
 92% motivated to get their organization more
involved in agroforestry
 Important benefits from academy participation
 the network of participants and trainers
 resource materials for future use
MAAWG / NAC / UMN / UMCA Outputs - 2013
Supporting the Development of the Knowledge Infrastructure
First International Elderberry Symposium, 2013, MU/UMCA
Living Snow Fence Cost Calculator, 2013, Univ. of MN
Windbreak Financial Decision Tool, 2013, NAC/UMCA
Training Manual for Applied Agroforestry Practices, 2013,
Handbook for Agroforestry Planning and Design, 2013,
Agroforestry Case Study: Chestnuts at Red Fern Farm, 2013,
Agroforestry Case Study: Elderberries at East Grove Farm,
Agroforestry Case Study: Silvopasture at Early Boots Farm,
Agroforestry: USDA Reports to America, FY 2011–2012 InBrief, 2013, USDA NAC
Summary – Agroforestry Academy
Helping to Develop the Infrastructure
 Widespread adoption and use requires
multiple, integrated, deliberate and
opportunistic approaches including the 4 P’s
(Partnerships, Programs, Professionals, Peer-to-Peer Learning)
achieved through:
 trained educators (certified agroforesters, online MS and
graduate certificate, agroforestry academy)
 active partnerships, networks
 top down support (government-$-policy) and bottom up
(landowners and key organizations)
 high tech (research breakthroughs) and high touch (oneon-one, peer-to-peer outreach)
 market driven approach to conservation
 targeted funding to develop specialty crop industries
with detailed financial information to cut risk
Topics for Our Afternoon Session
The Future of Agroforestry
•Locally led conservation initiatives
–Small watershed scale (Cover Crop Champions NWF, Farm Link)
•More work on finances, marketing, markets, co-ops
•More work on “the science behind the practices”
•Requires supporting policy changes and funding
•More trained professionals to promote AF
•More case studies with real world examples
•More partnerships, linked “communities of interest”
---------------------------------------------------------------------? How to scale-up agroforestry outreach ?
? Role for distance education to bring AF knowledge
to a larger audience ? Absolutely yes.
? What kind of educational/outreach materials do we
still need ?
Questions? / Comments…