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Individual Highlight

Enhancing Rural Economies through Agroforestry: Assessing Emerging Opportunities

Photo of A key aspect of the agroforestry workshop was hearing from a diverse group of producers who are using agroforestry systems in their operations. L to R. Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Main Street Project, MN; Victor Harris, Minority Landowner Magazine; Nate Olive, Ridge to Reef Farm, Virgin Islands; Vicki Roberts-Ratliff, Shelton Roberts Properties, LLC, MS; Jacob Marty, Green Fire Farm, WI? 
A key aspect of the agroforestry workshop was hearing from a diverse group of producers who are using agroforestry systems in their operations. L to R. Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Main Street Project, MN; Victor Harris, Minority Landowner Magazine; Nate Olive, Ridge to Reef Farm, Virgin Islands; Vicki Roberts-Ratliff, Shelton Roberts Properties, LLC, MS; Jacob Marty, Green Fire Farm, WI?  Snapshot : A national workshop identified opportunities for enhancing the profitability of agroforestry through increased access to land, capital, and markets. Agroforestry can support rural prosperity and local economic development, a USDA strategic goal.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Stein, Susan M.  
Research Location : Nationwide
Research Station : Washington Office (WO)
Year : 2018
Highlight ID : 1521

Summary

Opportunities are expanding for America's rural and urban communities to benefit from agroforestry, defined by USDA as "the intentional integration of trees and shrubs into crop and animal production systems to create environmental, economic, and social benefits." To foster discussion and action on the economic opportunities and challenges facing agroforestry, producers, researchers, investors, government staff and others met over three days in March 2018, to identify issues, share ideas, and build pathways to enhance rural economies through the practice of agroforestry. The National Agroforestry Center partnered with several USDA agencies and other organizations to convene more than 60 people. An important feature of the workshop was hearing from producers who are using agroforestry systems to diversify their operations, manage risk, and increase their profitability and in return, help enhance local economies. For instance, one producer discussed his operations which lead to the development of a local pawpaw festival that draws several thousand participants.    Participants discussed opportunities for enhancing the profitability of agroforestry through increased access to resources, markets, and payments and markets for ecosystem services.  Group discussions focused on identifying research, data, resources, and partnerships to strengthen these opportunities as well as identifying potential mechanisms to support producer engagement in these opportunities. Additional information and a final report on the Agroforestry Economics Workshop is available at:https://www.fs.usda.gov/nac/events/agroforestry-economics-workshop.shtml. Presentations from the workshop are available at:http://www.aftaweb.org/naac/agroforestry-economics-workshop.html.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • David Bergendorf, Jonas Epstein, US Forest Service
  • Gary Bentrup, Kate MacFarland, Rich Straight, National Agroforestry Center
  • Jim Chamberlain, Southern Research Station  
  • Toral Patel-Weynand, WO Research and Development
  • Badege Bishaw, Oregon State University
  • Chris Chmiel, Integration Acres
  • Cornelius Blanding, Federation of Southern Cooperatives
  • David Primozich, Freshwater Trust
  • Dean Current, University of Minnesota
  • Emily Lachniet, Appalachian Sustainable Development
  • Erika Larsen, US Environmental Protection Agency, Jimmy Bramblett, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service 
  • Eriks Brolis, The Nature Conservancy
  • Harry Greene, Propagate Ventures
  • Jacob Marty, Green Fire Farm
  • Jay Variyam, Marca Weinberg, USDA Economic Research Service
  • Jim Barnham, USDA Rural Development
  • John Erixson, Nebraska Forest Service
  • John Munsell, Virginia Tech
  • Keefe Keeley, Savanna Institute
  • Kelley Hamrick, Forest Trends
  • Kevin Egolf, Iroquois Valley Farms LLC
  • Larry Godsey, Missouri Valley College
  • Lexi Clark, Field to Market
  • Liz Madison, Partnership and Community Collaboration Academy
  • Mark Shepard, Forest Agriculture Enterprises LLC
  • Marlen Eve, Alan Franzluebbers, USDA Agricultural Research Service
  • Meghan Giroux, Interlace Agroforestry Farm
  • Michael Gold, University of Missouri
  • Mike Beacom, National Association of Conservation Districts
  • Mike Jacobson, Pennsylvania State University
  • Myriah Johnson, Noble Research Institute
  • Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Main Street Project
  • Robert Ibarra, Young Kim, USDA Risk Management Agency
  • Sarah Campbell, Skip Hyberg
  • Tom Driscoll, National Farmers Union
  • Tracey Coulter, Pennsylvania DCNR Bureau of Forestry
  • Tricia Kovacs, USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
  • USDA Farm Service Agency
  • Vickie Roberts, Shelton Roberts Properties LLC
  • Victor Harris, Minority Landowner Magazine
  •  Nate Olive, Ridge to Reef Farm