Day 3

Friday, December 8th

9am – 4pm CST

The final day of PFG2023 explores big-picture thinking on systems-level change and long-term planning that can help you craft a vision for the future of your farm. The Agroforestry Coalition joins us with the latest national policy updates and opportunities to collectively organize, and Indigenous presenters talk through our relationships to land. We also hear the latest from business partners who are scaling up to meet demand for more ecological agriculture. Thank you to all who joined us for this year’s Perennial Farm Gathering! We hope you have found a renewed sense of community and commitment to perennial agriculture. Recorded sessions will be available a week following the event.

Schedule and sessions linked below.

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9am – 10am CST

Envisioning Agroforestry Success – A Farm Narrative Workshop

Barbara Decré and MJ Oviatt, Savanna Institute

The first step when designing your agroforestry system is to write down your vision. As part of Savanna Institute’s Technical Service Program, clients develop their Farm Narrative, a document that highlights goals, visions, opportunities, constraints and serves as the North star throughout the design process. Join Savanna Institute’s Adoption Team for a participative workshop aimed at better understanding this critical step in agroforestry design, be prepared to envision the future of your farm, and walk away with advice on how to prepare your own Farm Narrative.

USDA Sponsor PDF 1

USDA Sponsor PDF 2

9am – 10am CST

Agroforestry Policy Is Taking Root, Now What?

Bev Paul, Davenport Policy

Cristel Zoebisch, Carbon180

Lindsey Shapiro, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture

Moderator: Kate Wersan, Savanna Institute

In this session, we will provide an overview of the current policy landscape for agroforestry and the different avenues for engagement in the policymaking process. We will highlight recent examples of policy wins that the Agroforestry Coalition has had and share the inside scoop on how agroforestry is faring in the upcoming farm bill. We will also devote time to practice how to engage policymakers to advance agroforestry policy. Bring your questions, your stories, and get ready to sharpen your advocacy skills!

10am – 11am CST

What is the Agroforestry Coalition and how can I get involved?

Kitt Healy, Samantha Bosco, and David LeZaks, Agroforestry Coalition

The Agroforestry Coalition is a national cross-sector network of advocates, agitators and innovators working to scale up agroforestry in the US. The Coalition is still emerging, but is currently organized around seven working groups, each working to address a particular barrier to scaling agroforestry. This session will explore the initiatives arising from these seven working groups, hold space for questions about the Coalition in general, and lead participants through a mini reflection on how they talk about their agroforestry work publicly.


10:30am – 12pm CST

Systems Change – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, Tree-Range Farms

Moderator: Keefe Keeley, Savanna Institute

How have we practiced systems change so far? What have the barriers been, and continue to be, on this journey? Join Tree Range’s Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin for a meditation on system change with Savanna Institute’s Executive Director Keefe Keeley. The want to change the system which is destroying the earth is easier said than done, and this conversation will dive into the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of systems change, in a reflective and collective approach to where we are in this life long, and multi-generational, path to healing the earth.

11:30am – 12:30pm CST

Running an Agroforestry Business: Opportunities and Challenges

Kevin Wolz, Canopy Farm Management

Austin Unruh, Trees For Graziers

Join us for a discussion with agroforestry establishment companies. Learn about the opportunities and challenges in getting trees in the ground, while making a business work in this unique space. Covering topics including funding, government cost-share seasonality, client adoption, labor, nursery stock and more.

12pm – 1pm CST

Fencing, Tree Tubes, and Innovation

Wyn Miller, Wyn Miller Land Solutions

Omar de Kok-Mercado, Mad Agriculture

Wyn Miller will discuss silvopasture establishment and protection on a 1000-acre grass-finished cattle operation in East Tennessee. By combining energized polywire with tree tubes, she has greatly increased tree survival, while also minimizing pasture loss and weed competition. Omar de Kok-Mercado will reflect on designing for culture and explore the potential of regenerative agriculture to connect farms together via perennial networks.

12:30pm – 2pm CST

Dispossession & Displacement: The Colonial Roots of Agriculture and Forestry in North America

Alex Bagwajinini Kmett, Co-founder and Curriculum Developer at the Endazhi-nitaawiging Charter School at Red Lake, and Farmer Educational Specialist at Marbleseed.

Bagwaj will briefly describe the historical relationship between Indigenous nations and settler-colonial states that set up the legal basis for continued occupation and utilization of land and resources in North America. Land cessions, treaty violations, forced relocation, and other actions have had devastating cascading impacts throughout history on Indigenous land access, intergenerational wealth, and general wellness. As an individual entwined in that history, he will describe his own story about how he has been impacted, with special attention to the impacts of forestry in Northern Minnesota to serve as a case-study. An informed understanding of our historical context, he argues, is key to working towards our shared future.


2pm – 3:30pm CST

Tree Planting as a Relational Process

Moderators: Steve Gabriel, Wellspring Forest Farm, NY, and Jonathan McRay, Ecological Farming Association

Explore alternative models of tree growing and distribution that contribute to restoring and centering whole ecosystems, economies, and communities. With the influx of public interest in agroforestry, the prospect of tree planting is being pushed onto landscapes without recognizing that inadequate funding, excessive bureaucracy, a shortage of high quality nursery stock, and the busy lives of farmers and land stewards make tree planting ever more challenging for them to undertake. We seek solutions that are based on reciprocity and community empowerment, where tree planting funding flows more directly to land stewards and communities versus being captured by institutions and organizations, and where programs center justice and equity to ensure fair access to resources. Bring your experiences, open mind, and critical lens as we discuss the gaps in current agroforestry efforts and how we can collectively change the narrative to center land, people, and community.

3:30pm – 4pm CST


Thank you for attending our annual Perennial Farm Gathering with Savanna Institute. We hope this gathering leaves you with a renewed inspiration and deeper connections that push forward all of our work.