Several years ago, the Savanna Institute received grant funding for a silvopasture establishment study, working with four Midwest farms to compare different methods of protecting newly planted trees from livestock. What they found is that maybe it’s better to wait a few years before letting livestock anywhere near your trees! But in addition to the research project, the farmer partners were also asked to record themselves interviewing more experienced silvopasture farmers for use in a Savanna Institute podcast that – at the time – didn’t exist yet.

Well now we DO have a podcast, and we’re finally going to get to hear what these farmers talked about when we turned them loose with an audio recorder back in 2018! Since then, some of these farmer partners have become silvopasture mentors and experts in their own right, and it’s been fun to listen back to their questions and comments in these conversations. This episode features two separate conversations: one between Liz Brownlee of Nightfall Farm and Darren Bender-Beauregard of Brambleberry Farm, both in south-central Indiana, and the second between Jacob Marty of Green Fire Farm in southern Wisconsin and Nate Olive of Ridge to Reef Farm in the US Virgin Islands (where they have things like mango trees and “mongoose pressure”). We’ll also hear staff member Kristy Gruley telling a story from her first Perennial Farm Gathering back in February of 2017.

You can learn more about the workshop where Jacob Marty and Nate Olive recorded their interview, “Enhancing Rural Economies through Agroforestry”, on the USDA’s event webpage.

Darren Bender-Beauregard, who describes his silvopasture experience in the episode’s first conversation, provided Savanna Institute with a virtual tour of Brambleberry Farm with his family in 2020.

You can hear all of the silvopasture farmer-to-farmer interviews in this playlist on our YouTube channel.