Our Mission

We lay the groundwork for widespread agroforestry


The Savanna Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works with farmers and scientists to lay the groundwork for widespread agroforestry adoption in the Midwest US. Inspired by the native savanna ecosystems that once covered much of this region, the Savanna Institute conducts research, education, and outreach to support the growth of diverse, perennial agroecosystems.


Catalyze the development and adoption of resilient, scalable agroforestry.


A multifunctional agriculture in the Midwest US based on agroforestry systems of integrated trees, crops, and livestock that fosters ecological resilience, climate stability, economic prosperity, and vibrant communities.

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Our Values

We come to our work with a set of core values that informs all of our partnerships, projects, and actions. They are: 


All beings have inherent worth.

Multiple Ways of Knowing
Expertise comes in many forms. We integrate traditional ecological knowledge, observation, and scientific inquiry and welcome multiple worldviews.

Public Benefit
We have a responsibility to work together with partners towards a more diverse and resilient ecology, economy, and society for the benefit of the public good.



All life is interdependent and relies on a diverse and resilient ecology to thrive.

Cultural diversity and biodiversity are inherently linked. Our vision for more ecological agriculture will bear fruit when a diversity of perspectives and voices are included.

Historical injustices and continued discrimination inhibit our vision from taking root. We promote equitable access to programs and resources within food and farming systems.

Perennial Report

Each winter, the Savanna Institute releases its Perennial Report – our version of the standard annual report. Learn more about our work to lay a foundation for widespread agroforestry in the Midwest. Annual IRS Form 990 also available upon request.

Deep-rooted long-lived tree crops improve the soil, help retain water, improve biodiversity, sequester carbon, and mitigate the effects of floods. Tree crops help us heal our climate, regenerate our communities, and share stories and values across generations. It is time to transform American agriculture through tree crops.