Technical Service Program

One-on-one technical support for adding trees to your farm


Trees make your land more beautiful, productive, and valuable. And now, with historic investments in agroforestry by the US Department of Agriculture, more farmers have the option to integrate trees on their farms. Savanna Institute’s Technical Service Program helps you take advantage of resources available to plant trees on your pastures, fields, and waterways. Technical Service Providers offer one-on-one support for planning, designing, and securing financial assistance for an agroforestry system. The best part? We are able to provide technical service at no cost to you, thanks to support from the Natural Resource Conservation Service and other partners. PHOTO: Randall Hyman, GLPF

Are you ready to add trees to your farm? Apply today. Limited space available for Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Savanna Institute’s technical service team in Wisconsin introduces you to key agroforestry practices supported by USDA conservation programs. This video was made with support from Wisconsin Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a federal agency that works with landowners on private lands to conserve natural resources. NRCS is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

What does the process look like?

    • One-on-one support
      Our Technical Service Providers (TSP’s) will work closely with you to build a custom agroforestry plan that will be your roadmap for successfully installing trees on the land you steward. 
    • Connect with like-minded folks
      You will be part of a cohort  who share your passion for improving their land, with opportunities to connect via field days, farm tours, and workshops. 
    • Learn about agroforestry
      We will share videos, written materials, and updates about relevant learning opportunities.
    • Write a farm narrative
      We’ll walk you through the process of defining your goals and ideas for your operation so that you can be sure that agroforestry is a good fit––past, present and future. 
    • Visit your farm
      Together we will walk your property and gather information that will help you choose trees that will thrive in your landscape and integrate seamlessly into your existing activities. 
    • Crunch the numbers
      We will connect you with tools to help you figure out the finances and guide you to sources of funding, including USDA financial assistance.
    • Develop a design
      We will work together to map out where woody perennials are planted and decide how it fits in with existing farm activities.

    • Implement your vision
      You will end up with a working plan and a path forward for planting trees on your farm, and resources to help you start the implementation process.

    Technical Service Program FAQs

    What if I don’t live in the Midwest?

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    We are only able to provide agroforestry technical support in the Midwestern US. If you are outside the region, we recommend browsing our partner list for more resources serving farmers nationally and globally in adopting agroforestry.

    What agroforestry practices can Savanna Institute help me plan for?

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    We primarily work with farmers to establish alley cropping, silvopasture, riparian buffers, and windbreaks. The particular practices we work with depend a lot on what financial assistance is available in your county and state. Alley cropping and silvopasture are the most common practices we work with.

    I’m planning on purchasing land and becoming a farmer. Can I join the technical service program now?

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    Our Technical Service Program aligns closely with requirements for NRCS cost-sharing, and as a result, we work primarily with clients who already have access to land.

    Do you do the installation too?

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    Our Technical Service Providers lead you through the design phase of planning your agroforestry system. However, planting and installation is farmer-led. We can connect you with other organizations and businesses that can help you install and manage your system.

    Do you have a question about adding trees to your land?

    Savanna Institute and Partners Awarded USDA Grants for Climate-Smart Agriculture

    Historic investment will help farmers produce, market and promote profitable, climate-smart commodities across the United States

    The Savanna Institute plays a key role on two teams led by The Nature Conservancy and Organic Valley that received grants to advance the potential for U.S. agriculture to sequester carbon and reduce emissions in commodity supply chains. The Climate-Smart Partnerships allow the Savanna Institute to grow its Technical Service Program and provide more services at no cost to farmers.

    Want to get started right away?


    Take the Online Course: Agroforestry Foundations

    The Agroforestry Foundations course is designed to introduce you to a diversity of agroforestry practices, financial arrangements, farm designs and business models while helping you reflect on your own personal values and goals. 

    three apprentices and a farmer sit on the porch of a white house

    “I trust Savanna Institute to be careful stewards of land that’s important to me and my family, and to develop and spread farming practices that will increase biodiversity and fight climate change.”


                                                                      – Jack L.

    Deep-rooted long-lived tree crops improve the soil, help retain water, improve biodiversity, sequester carbon, and mitigate the effects of floods. Tree crops help us heal our climate, regenerate our communities, and share stories and values across generations. It is time to transform American agriculture through tree crops.