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Why Agroforestry?

What motivates landowners, researchers, educators, planners, technology transfer specialists and others to engage in agroforestry? Why agroforestry? Why us? We all have stories, based on our backgrounds, experiences, and goals, and we at NAC find such stories to be a source of inspiration. We thought you might too.

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Current Info Sheet

How does agroforestry help crop pollination?

National Agroforestry Center

The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) accelerates the application of agroforestry through a national network of partners. Together, we conduct research, develop technologies and tools, coordinate demonstrations and training, and provide useful information to natural resource professionals. Read more about the National Agroforestry Center…

Around Agroforestry

New Silvopasture Resources for the Northeast

Posted June 20, 2016

Non-timber Forest Product Calculator (NTFP) screen shot displayed on a computer monitor.

Two new silvopasture resources have recently been released for the northeast US. In 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Pennsylvania Grazing Lands Coalition, USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, utilized grant funding through Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research Education program to collaborate with Dickinson College on a multiyear project to investigate and apply adaptive management for silvopasture establishment in both woody and open pasture environments. They created a  video that features thoughts and reflections of project participants including successes, issues experienced during the course of the project, and thoughts for the future.

Joe Orefice, Assistant Professor at Paul Smith’s College, with co-authors John Carrol and Leanne Ketner released A Photo Guide to Northeastern US Silvopasture. This guide is the result of research investigating silvopasture practices on farms in New York and New England.

Online training available on Assessing and Financing Regional Food Enterprises

Posted May 24, 2016

The USDA has released an online interactive training for all types of funders, from traditional financial institutions to nonprofit and philanthropic partners. The training helps funders to understand the work of regional food enterprises that are connecting local producers with local markets. USDA sees potential for investment in businesses in the middle of the supply chain, like local food hubs, processors, aggregators, and distributors. This investment would provide capital for anything from seed money to delivery trucks and sales staff to walk-in coolers. As these businesses start-up or scale-up, they in turn build demand for goods and produce from regional farmers.

Learn more at the USDA blog or start the free online training.

Local Food System Toolkit released by USDA, Colorado State

Posted May 11, 2016

Tomato clipart and text: Know your farmer. Know your food.

The USDA and Colorado State University have released a new resource, The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices. This toolkit, developed by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), helps communities reliably evaluate the economic impact of investing in local and regional food systems. These activities contribute to USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) initiative, which coordinates efforts across USDA to support local and regional food systems. These resources may be useful to those working on financial planning, marketing, and food system development for crops and products produced in agroforestry systems.

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About Agroforestry

Agroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Agroforestry takes advantage of the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. Agroforestry practices include:

About the NAC

The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) had its origins in the 1990 Farm Bill. It began as a Forest Service Research and State & Private Forestry effort in 1992 and expanded into a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1995. It is administered by the Forest Service's, Washington, DC, Office of Research and Development. NAC offices are located in Lincoln, Nebraska and Blacksburg, Virginia.

NAC accelerates the application of agroforestry through a national network of partners. Together, we conduct research, develop technologies and tools, coordinate demonstrations and training, and provide useful information to natural resource professionals.

About Working Trees

The right trees planted in the right places for the right reasons can add value to land-use systems. That's the Working Trees message that helps natural resource professionals, community leaders, and landowners identify with the concept of agroforestry. NAC uses the Working Trees theme to promote the development of sustainable agriculture and communities.


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