AFTA Session

Day 3 – Tuesday, Dec. 8th, 2020

2pm – 3:20pm

AFTA Session

Nature’s Path Foods Agroforestry Criteria

Ken McCormick, Nature’s Path Product Development Coordinator. IFOAM North America Coordinator. 

[email protected]  / [email protected]

Dag Falk, Nature’s Path Organic Programs Manager. 

[email protected]


Nature’s Path Foods has developed an agroforestry criteria aimed at offering validity and transparency to agroforestry-labeled products sold in North America. We have a mission of reducing climate change through better agricultural practices, and a commitment to constantly improving the soil used to grow the ingredients we use in our products. We understand the complexity of reaching consensus on a new set of agroforestry standards that embrace a diverse set of stakeholders, so we have actively solicited feedback from the community of agroforestry researchers and practitioners during the development of our set of agroforestry criteria.


Our goal is to achieve alignment with Agroforestry Best Practices, and we hope our criteria will contribute to the process of improving a standard that is both:

  1. Universally applicable across multiple soil and climate conditions, and
  2. Meaningful for practicing long-term soil stewardship within diverse organic farming systems.


Our intent is to initiate a set of agroforestry criteria which is rigorous enough for building confidence with the general public, yet flexible enough to incorporate a wide range of agroforestry practices in both tropical and temperate environments. The agroforestry criteria aims at nurturing a system of agriculture which builds a deep level of health and resiliency into an entire farm ecosystem while sequestering long-term storage of carbon. To this end, it encourages farmers to employ their creativity and utilize agroforestry practices that are specific to their operations. As we begin implementation of our program, we continue to encourage feedback from the agroforestry research community.

Food Forests: Definition and Examples   

Gary Wyatt, University of Minnesota Extension

[email protected] 


Families have a growing interest in producing vegetables and fruits on their own property or from community food gardens. This trend was happening before COVID, but now has accelerated. Producing and purchasing local foods is very popular. This presentation will discuss what a food forest is, examples of food forests, plants producing edible fruits and nuts and

resources to find more information. Learn more about food forests, forest farming, and how you can be involved or educate others in your community. Gary Wyatt, [email protected], University of Minnesota Extension.

Download the Food Forest Fact Sheet

Tools You Can Use! From the USDA National Agroforestry Center

Kate MacFarland, USDA National Agroforestry Center

[email protected]


“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Creating effective agroforestry systems that achieve one’s goals and objectives requires juggling numerous considerations and information. To address this challenge, planning and design tools can help landowners navigate this decision-making landscape. The USDA National Agroforestry Center has developed a wide range of tools you can use to design agroforestry practices on your farm, calculate their economic viability, and learn from other agroforestry approaches. In this session, you will hear more about many tools from the National Agroforestry Center and its partners, including tools for site assessment, tools for planning and design including the Conservation Buffer Guide and AgBufferBuilder, economic tools like the Non-Timber Forest Products Calculator and other crop enterprise budgets, as well as resources for finding others involved with agroforestry. The SARE Agroforestry Project Index showcases over 220 SARE-funded projects that are related to agroforestry and the Agroforestry Webinar Library holds 164 videos on a range of agroforestry topics. The Inside Agroforestry Article Library allows one to find pertinent articles from 20 years of this publication. You will also hear about the limits to using these tools and how to find ones relevant to your management objectives. Finally, the session will allow for time for the audience to provide feedback and suggestions on future tool and resource development.


Richard Straight, [email protected], USDA National Agroforestry Center

Lord Ameyaw, [email protected], USDA National Agroforestry Center

Brush Management with Goats

Nolden, Cherrie A., [email protected], UW-Madison Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences

In the Upper Midwest, brush invasion is a significant challenge because the agroforestry sites are often too wet and sparse to carry a killing fire, many sites are too steep for large equipment, and chemical control methods can be expensive and undesirable in some situations. Managed goat browsing applies natural goat preferences for consuming woody species leaves and bark in a methodology to exhaust carbohydrate root reserves of undesirable woody species as the mechanism for reducing their abundance in the plant community. Goats can be applied as a brush management tool. Data from 3 years of goats rotationally browsed at an oak savanna restoration site in southwest Wisconsin demonstrated that goats preferred to consume 84% of their diet as woody browse, even when woody species cover was only 49% of the available forage. Meat goat growth rate ranged from 78 to 143 grams per day, which was significantly better than found by researchers in Maryland and Oklahoma, and which translates into a potential medium sale price of $150 per meat goat raised on brush alone over a 180 day grazing season. At a stocking rate of 4 goats per wooded acre, the annual income from meat goat sales could be around $400 per acre. Management considerations for achieving landowner and goat owner goals for brush control include prior management, site accessibility, goat and/or contractor availability, alternative options, goat stocking densities and goat application location, intensity, frequency, timing, and duration.
Harrington, J.A, [email protected], UW-Madison Planning and Landscape Architecture, Agroecology

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