Demonstration Farm Network

Commercial-scale agroforestry in action 

 

Located in Illinois and Wisconsin, our demonstration farms serve as accessible hubs to educate farmers and the public, provide tree crop germplasm repositories and variety trials, and foster adaptation of agroforestry practices to regional conditions. The dual-purpose nature of agroforestry practices can make them a win-win for farmers, allowing them to harvest multiple products from the same land area and access new sources of income.

Ultimately, agroforestry has the potential to be a low-tech, scalable farming practice that enhances farm profitability, ecological resilience, carbon storage, water quality, and rural job creation. These farms are directly managed by the Institute to ensure robust, science-based design, fieldwork, and education and improve long-term economic and ecological monitoring

Three apprentices learn to harvest currents

Apprentices harvesting black currents at a Savanna Institute demonstration farm in Illinois.

See agroforestry practices on a commercial scale

Savanna Institute demonstration farms feature a range of agroforestry practices on each farm. To learn more about these individual practices and how to implement them on your farm, download our free agroforestry infographics!

sunflowers growing in teh alleys at silverwood park

Visit a demonstration farm today!

Email Kaitie Adams if you are interested in visiting one of our demonstration farms, kaitie@savannainstitute.org

Fields Restored – Oregon, IL

Fields Restored is a 166-acre row-crop farm near Oregon, IL owned and operated by the Williams family. The family first worked with the Savanna Institute to transition 20 acres to alley cropping in 2015. After seeing the rapid revitalization of this parcel, they are now committed to converting more of their farm into the primary agroforestry demonstration farm of Northern Illinois.

 

Silverwood Park – Edgerton, WI

Located at a public county park in Edgerton, Wisconsin, the Silverwood Park Demonstration Farm is designed and managed as an innovative public-private partnership with Dane County, Wisconsin and the Friends of Silverwood Park, a community volunteer organization. In the spring of 2019, Savanna Institute staff planted an 18-acre alley cropping and windbreak demonstration at the site. Additional plantings are planned for the future.

 

Allerton Park – Monticello, IL

Allerton Park is a 1,500-acre park in Monticello, IL (near Champaign-Urbana) owned by the University of Illinois. The Savanna Institute manages a demonstration farm near the park entrance that features rows of hardwood timber with alleys of annual row-crop rotation, as well as pawpaw, persimmon, and northern pecan planting to expand genetic diversity.

 

Sun Dappled Farms – Peoria, IL

Located near Peoria, IL, this 17-acre demonstration will showcase ecological restoration of depleted farmland through agroforestry. The Savanna Institute is developing designs for the site to promote soil regeneration, provide water management, and demonstrate how landscape can inform design and farming decisions.