Getting Started

Are you ready to get started with agroforestry?

 

We are here to help. Whether you are looking for a webinar or field day to learn a bit more about a new tree crop, looking for an on-farm apprenticeship program, or ready to dive in and create a whole farm plan to convert several acres to alley cropping, we have resources for you.

Our goal is to help farmers and landowners understand the range of options available as you consider adopting agroforestry. And the best practice for agroforestry in one market or zone may differ a great deal from another. While the resources below and throughout our website will be helpful to anyone considering agroforestry, filling out the intake form below can help us get to know you and how we can best work together toward agroforestry solutions in your life.

 

Learn about the best ways to establish agroforestry on your farm through one of our demonstration farms in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Photo: Kaitie Adams, SI Illinois Demo Farm Manager, establishing a large alley-cropping demonstration at Allerton Park, IL.

Understanding Agroforestry Practices

There are several ways to implement agroforestry on your property, and they each have different benefits and challenges. Begin to explore these practices and learn about they might be used to diversify farm income, meet conservation goals, improve water retention, and even boost crop yield in these handy infographics.

Financing agroforestry on your land

Tree crops grow on a different schedule from annual crops, and so financing agroforestry adoption is also different. Here’s some resources we have to help:

  • Explore our profiles of landowners who have adopted agroforestry to understand how some farmers made the switch.
  • Check out the economic projections in this guide to the key tree crops of the Midwest.
  • For those in Wisconsin, Iowa, northern Illinois, and northern Indiana, we have agroforesters on staff to can work one-on-one with you to develop plans for adoption. Contact us to learn more about this service.

 

Ready for some on-farm training?

 

Each summer the Savanna Institute runs an on-farm agroforestry apprenticeship program. This program pairs beginning farmers with experienced agroforesters for 10 weeks of hand-on training and mentoring. Program participants also join an online course and travel to area farms as a cohort to build their network and gain exposure to the wide range of agroforestry practices present across the Midwest.

 

 

Take an online course

 

With courses focused on key tree crops and practices, marketing, land access and finances, and agroecology and climate change you can expand your knowledge of agroforestry. These courses feature multimedia lessons that use video and audio as well as text to help you dig deep into each subject.  The courses can be taken individually or in sequence. We are releasing two courses each month this spring, so check back often to see which new ones have been published! 

 

 

Your handbook for planting tree crops

Download this free guidebook to learn about planning for agroforestry, choosing crops, planting, pruning, and so much more. This is your handbook for adopting agroforestry in the Midwest.