ASD’s Agroforestry Program was founded in 2010 with the goal of helping farmers adopt agroforestry practices that support both conservation and specialty crop production. Historically, ASD has worked with government agencies to establish multifunctional riparian forest buffers with useful fruit and nut trees and shrubs along waterways, as well as food forests along public walking trails. Currently, ASD has funding to help farmers establish, process and market forest botanicals in a forest farming system or field grown medicinal herbs in an alley cropping system.
What Is Agroforestry?
Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees and/or shrubs are grown with crops and/or livestock. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has a variety of environmental and economic benefits, including crop diversification, soil erosion reduction, water quality improvement, wildlife habitat enhancement, and much more! There are several agroforestry practices, including: forest farming, riparian forest buffers, alley cropping, silvopasture, windbreaks, and food forests.
What Are The benefits?
- Increase diversity of crops and income
- Improve yield and productivity
- Enhance product quality
- Maximize full economic potential of land
- Energy bill conservation
- Improve air and water quality
- Reduce soil erosion and improve soil health
- Increase pollinator and wildlife habitat
- Mitigate risks of climate change
- Increase biodiversity
- Increase food access
- Noise cancellation from roads, etc.
- Block and filter pollution
- Visual screens
- Aesthetic landscape
Agrforestry Train the Trainer Model
ASD, in partnership with Interlace Commons , Savanna Institute, Cornell University, and Virginia Tech, has been awarded funding from the Edwards Mother Earth Foundation (EMEF) to improve agroforestry technical assistance for forest farming, alley cropping, and silvopasture to meet the growing support needs of farmers.
To increase agroforestry adoption, project partners will combine collective expertise to implement a Train the Trainer (TtT) model that provides agroforestry education and builds a network of agricultural technical service providers (TSPs). This model will include an online course for virtual learning throughout the U.S. and regional in-person training at demonstration sites in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast. Focus practices will include forest farming, alley cropping, and silvopasture initially, with room for expansion to other agroforestry practices over time.
Training will be made available to public, private, and non-profit TSPs, K-12 educators, and farmers interested in implementing agroforestry practices. Intentional justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility efforts will be made to actively engage people from diverse communities, including BIPOC, LGBTQA+, economically distressed, and other underserved populations.
Please sign up below if you’d like to stay up to date on TtT opportunities. For further information, please contact Stesha Warren, Agroforester.
Donate today and help Appalachian farmers finally make a profit forest farming, while also conserving at-risk medicinal plants. Your donation, no matter the size, makes a big difference for the people, plants and future of Appalachia.
Agroforestry Assistance Application
Complete our agroforestry assistance application to see what services we can offer you!
If you are a landowner interested in diversifying your income, agroforestry may be a fit for you!
Please complete the application so we can learn a little more about your land, interests, and experiences. We can then offer assistance ranging from access to our newsletter, a technical assistance phone call, and/or an on-farm site visit based on our funding and availability. The demand for high quality, ethically sourced herbs is growing, so join the local herb farming movement today!
Please read the application description before starting the application.
Catalyzing Agroforestry Grants Program
The Catalyzing Agroforestry Grants Program is an initiative funded by the Edwards Mother Earth Foundation (EMEF) and managed by Virginia Tech University in partnership with ASD and Rural Action. The program will provide direct financial support to farmers who seek to implement agroforestry systems, including silvopasture and forest farming practices. ASD will also help producers design agroforestry systems with on-farm technical assistance.
The project will provide up to $1,500/acre for silvopasture implementation and up to $1,000/quarter acre for forest farming implementation, depending on project scale and scope. Producers who receive support, will share successes and lessons-learned onsite with their peers and other interested stakeholders in subsequent years.
Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub™
Ready to process and market your medicinal herbs to premium priced buyers? Check out the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub™ in Duffield, VA for assistance to help get you started!
Funding & Research Opportunities
Check out ASD’s guide to funding sources for Forest Farming, Alley Cropping, and Silvopasture.
- ASD is now seeking applications from forest farmers for cost-share funding for forest botanical planting stock. To learn more and apply, click HERE.
This map is to showcase the diversity of Agroforestry practices in Appalachia. All of the locations are currently established agroforestry sites. Please be respectful of your fellow agroforesters and do not drop in unannounced without prior approval. Not all sites are open for public visitation, and those that are most often require an appointment for visits. If you see a site that you would like to visit, please visit the site’s webpage for visitation inquiries.
If you are an Appalachian Agroforester and would like your farm to be included on ASD’s Appalachian Agroforestry Demonstration map, you can fill out this form https://forms.gle/uD3wAA8oJiLE8ykA9 and provide the necessary information to add yourself to our map. (We will not ask for your name or exact address.)
Another type of Appalachian Agroforestry includes syrup production. You can view these maps to see all syrup producers in Virginia and West Virginia
Community Food Forests are also a type of urban agroforestry and you can view all community food forest sites in the country here
The Agroforestry Team
We have a collection of agroforestry resources, including information on planting, forest botanicals, native fruits and nuts, markets and more!
Get Agroforestry Updates
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