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Find our Ask an Agroforester series here.

Appalachian Sustainable Development’s “Ask an Agroforester” Webinar Series is back for 2024! This monthly series is an opportunity for us to come together for a deep dive into detailed information about specific Agroforestry topics. Bring your questions for our regional Agroforestry heroes.

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!

Check out our Agroforestry Assistance Flyer for more information on how we can help you to implement the following agroforestry practices:forest farmingriparian forest buffersalley croppingsilvopasturewindbreaks, 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

Maple Woodlot Assessment

Interested in producing maple syrup, but not sure where to start? An on farm site visit can help you tap into the business! Fill out the agroforestry assistance application to get started:

Funding Opportunities

Check out ASD’s guide to funding sources for Forest Farming, Alley Cropping, and Silvopasture.

This is a recording of a live webinar that occurred Jan. 25, 2024. It included a presentation and discussion of three large grant programs available in the US Southeast: The Catalyzing Agroforestry Grant Program, Expanding Agroforestry Project, and ASSETS Grant Program. Representatives from each grant gave short presentations and then fielded questions about funding eligibility, processes, and requirements. They talked about the similarities and differences between the programs and shared how some of them can (or in some cases, explicitly cannot!) stack together with other funding programs to help individuals cover additional costs.

Click here for the Funding Comparison Table.

Accelerating Silvopasture Adoption and Carbon Sequestration This new grant program is available to farmers in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to assist in the adoption of silvopasture. Qualified applicants will receive one on one design support, silvopasture technical assistance, up to $1,500/acre for practice adoption and earn up to $90/acre annually from carbon credit sales. Visit Working Trees for more information and to apply today.

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.

Please click the button below for more information or to submit an application. Visit ABFFC or contact the Program Director, John Munsell.

The Nature Conservancy, and multiple partners including ASD, are launching a 5-year project to catalyze significant private investments into agroforestry, while increasing farmers’ incomes and delivering environmental benefits. Eligible farmers in 29 states, including all of Central Appalachia, will soon have an opportunity to apply for financial and technical assistance for agroforestry plantings. This new Expanding Agroforestry Production program is funded through the USDA’s Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative. To learn more and stay updated once the application is live, click the button below to sign up today!


Training for Natural Resource Professionals

Calling all natural resource professionals who work with land managers! We are offering an agroforestry training program designed just for you, to help expand your knowledge of agroforestry so you can better serve your clients and community. 

This program will offer a series of in-person workshops combined with online courses, all designed to be a la carte, so you attend whichever sessions you choose. 

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!

Agroforestry Demonstrations

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 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

Upcoming Events

Donate Today!

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.

The Agroforestry Team

Katie Commender

Agroforestry Director

Email Katie | 276.623.1121

Robin Suggs

Procurement Manager

Email Robin | 276.623.1121

Stesha Warren


Email Stesha | 276.623.1121

Emilie Tweardy


Email Emilie | 276.623.1121



We have a collection of agroforestry resources, including information on planting, forest botanicals, native fruits and nuts, markets and more!

Forest Farming Calculator

The Forest Farming Calculator is an Excel spreadsheet-based scoping tool for evaluating the economic potential of growing forest botanticals for the medicinal market. This tool estimates the prices per pound of dried roots that would need to be harvested to break even. A profit may be obtained if you can get a higher price for the product.

This tool does not require internet access and no information is tracked.  However, there are links embedded in the tool which link to additional resources that will not work unless you are connected to the internet.  The Forest Farming Calculator is available on the USDA National Agroforestry Center’s website. *Be sure to enable macros when opening this Excel-based tool.

Feedback Requested!

The Forest Farming Calculator is considered a beta version and we would greatly appreciate your feedback. You can submit anonymous comments through the form below. In return for submitting feedback, you can enter your name into a drawing for a free paperback copy of the 2nd edition of The Forest Farmers Handbook by Rural Action, United Plant Savers, and Appalachian Sustainable Development. You can enter your contact information on the feedback form, and your comments will be separate from your contact information.

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