AFTA Session: Help Shape an American

Forest Farming Council

Day 3 – Tuesday, Dec. 8th, 2020

11am – 12pm

AFTA Session: Help Shape an American Forest Farming Council

Join Us to Help Shape an American Forest Farming Council
John Munsell, [email protected], Virginia Tech University

Forest farming has increased across the United States in recent years. Practitioners are better positioned than ever in the marketplace and greater attention is being paid to the role and relevance of their enterprise. However, farmers and stakeholders currently lack a professional association where they can transfer knowledge, address scientific and technological needs, advocate, and celebrate community. The American Forest Farming Council (AFFC) is envisioned as a premier professional forest farming association guided by an organizational charter that ensures cooperative problem solving, consistent member services, and a culture that is inclusive, abides by antitrust laws, and respects diverse viewpoints. Membership will be open, but is anticipated to consist of forest farmers and wild stewards, NTFP-dependent industry representatives, NTFP procurement specialists, agency professionals, academics and extension, economic developers, and forest conservationists. Potential focus areas include: a) increasing recognition of NTFPs as agricultural crops; b) forest farmer and wild steward support; c) supply stock and value-added systems; d) research and precision technology; and e) external affairs and public awareness. During this session, findings from previous stakeholder discussions and results of a short survey provided beforehand to registered attendees will be shared. Work in small breakout groups will also occur to help refine ideas about the AFFC’s structure and function. Furthermore, there will be opportunities to voice thoughts on the general needs of forest farmers through moderated discussion. Results will help define the role of forest farming in the nation’s bio-economy.

Ben Addlestone, [email protected], Virginia Tech University

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