Breakout Session B

Tree Advisor: Online tool for selecting woody plants for agroforestry in the Great Plains
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The USDA National Agroforestry Center has developed an evidence-based, online plant selection guide to help landowners and planners select better species of trees and shrubs to achieve a suite of user-defined purposes for an agroforestry practice. In this tool, over 90 species of trees and shrubs are rated for 14 different purposes in the northern and central Great Plains. Purposes rated in this guide include: 1) alley cropping, 2) aquatic habitat, 3) carbon sequestration, 4) flood protection, 5) native ecosystem restoration, 6) particle drift reduction, 7) pollinator habitat, 8) polluted runoff treatment, 9) streambank stabilization, 10) storm & wastewater treatment, 11) wetland restoration, 12) wildlife habitat, 13) visual aesthetics, and 14) view & noise screen. “Higher-rated” species of trees and shrubs are those that function relatively better than other species for specific purposes. Ratings were developed by considering geographic suitability of each species for 12 different sub-regions and algorithms based on plant characteristics that make a species relatively better (or worse) for each specific purpose. The guide also allows searching for specific plant attributes including products that can be produced from the species. The online guide enables the user to quickly develop a short list of the better species to use which can be refined based on suitability under local site conditions, commercial availability, and availability of locally-adapted cultivars and hybrids. This tool can be found at: and may serve as a template for developing multi-purpose woody plant selection guides for other regions.

Gary Bentrup, USDA National Agroforestry Center

Additional author:
Mike Dosskey, USDA National Agroforestry Center (retired)

Stories of collaboration: how women access land for perennial agriculture in the Midwest
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Secure land tenure is a requirement for any farmer to feel confident about investing in perennial agriculture but the trend current in the US is towards the consolidation of land into large farming operations and accessing land is getting harder and harder for young farmers. It is especially difficult for those who don’t come from a farming family and don’t have prospects for acquiring land through inheritance. Land access for women farmers can therefore be a big challenge. Women farmers leading their own activities tend to farm smaller parcels of marginal land that they most often rent. They are innovative and creative and oftentimes approach farming differently than most men who farm. They are more attracted to alternative practices than to monocropping and rely on their communities for their markets and to find resources. These collaborative tendencies have led to creative and innovative ways to access agricultural land. For this research, I interviewed twelve women interested in perennial agriculture in the Midwest and asked them about their land access story and the role that networks played in the process. The stories they shared highlight the challenges they faced and reveal the importance of networks and collaborations. They invite us to reimagine land access and farming through a collaborative approach that challenges the dominant model of land access its colonial roots. Sharing these stories widely has the potential to inspire others and bring onto the land communities that have long been excluded and marginalized.

Barbara Decre, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Using NRCS Practices to Design and Fund Agroforestry Systems
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In an effort to familiarize landowners with USDA supported Agroforestry practices and eventual funding, landowners need to familiarize themselves with NRCS Practice Standards and associated practices. This session/poster will focus on walking through several different NRCS Agroforestry webpages to help guide and inform landowners on NRCS Practice Standards and Associated Practices for Agroforestry.

Sven Pihl, Agroforester – IL, Savanna Institute

Beyond Organic: Practical Agroforestry on Your Farm
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In this session, we’ll explore the opportunities to integrate trees into your farm for a variety of benefits. Whether you are a livestock producer looking to improve the comfort of your animals and diversify your income, a grain grower wanting to install windbreaks, a market gardener hoping to branch out into fruits and nuts, or you just have a desire to make your farm more resilient, you’ll take away ideas you can implement on your operation. Focus will be on systems and varieties that work in an organic context.

Matt Wilson, Agroforestry Technical Service Provider, Savanna Institute


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Meeting ID: 854 6903 0996
Passcode: 221418

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