AFTA Session

Day 2 – Monday, Dec. 7th, 2020

10am – 11am

AFTA Session

Agroforestry, perennial forages, & perennial grains: Partnering to speed the transition to a perennial agriculture

Fred Iutzi, [email protected], Partnering for Perennials 

Randy Jackson, [email protected], University of Wisconsin-Madison

Tim Crews, [email protected], The Land Institute

Sarah Lovell, [email protected], University of Missouri

Keefe Keeley, [email protected], Savanna Institute

Nick Jordan, [email protected], University of Minnesota

Perennial crops in diverse cropping systems are the keystone of a genuinely regenerative agriculture – they have an unparalleled ability to provision both high levels of ecosystem services and abundant food for humanity. Three major communities make up the growing perennial agriculture movement: agroforestry, permanent pasture & grazing lands, and perennial grains. Each of these platforms has a crucial role to play in an overall perennial ag portfolio that can start making a positive impact for soil, water, and climate now while continuing to scale that impact up into the future. But despite the clear advantages of perennial agriculture systems, much of temperate agriculture remains dominated by annual crops. Farmers, researchers, policymakers, and funders aligned with each perennial crop type often end up advocating for their perennial crop platform in isolation. Are we leaving opportunities for synergy on the table? This panel will discuss how the diverse strengths of perennial forage, perennial grains, and agroforestry systems complement one another in an integrated portfolio, how we can work together to better communicate the unique potential of perennials to provide abundantly for ecosystems and the people who live in them – and how we can accelerate the transition to a truly perennial agriculture.

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