Increasing Agroforestry Adoption and Networking in the Midwest through Targeted Professional Development

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2012: $74,842.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2014
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Michael Gold
MU Center for Agroforestry

Annual Reports

Information Products


  • Nuts: chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts
  • Additional Plants: native plants
  • Animals: bovine, goats
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms


  • Animal Production: grazing - rotational
  • Crop Production: windbreaks
  • Education and Training: extension, workshop
  • Energy: bioenergy and biofuels
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, agricultural finance, market study
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement, hedgerows, riparian buffers, riverbank protection, hedges - woody

    Proposal abstract:

    This project, a joint effort among five Midwestern states, will create an Agroforestry Academy for professional development of natural resource professionals, extension agents, and other educators, to advance adoption of agroforestry as a cornerstone of productive land use in the Midwest. Agroforestry offers a novel approach to land management that provides opportunities to combine productivity and profitability with environmental stewardship, resulting in healthy and sustainable agricultural systems that can be passed on to future generations. In spite of significant advances in both the science and practice of agroforestry over the past 20 years, adoption has been limited. Natural resource professionals and other educators are currently not equipped to help landowners adopt agroforestry. Advanced training on the five agroforestry practices includes options for bioenergy, marketing, economic, social dimensions, and environmental services benefits, and coupled with practice in agroforestry design, will facilitate knowledge transfer. In turn, this will help create the infrastructure needed to enhance landowner adoption of agroforestry, resulting in increased sustainability of rural communities and the food and agricultural system. As a result of the Agroforestry Academy, fifty educators from a five state area will be trained in agroforestry principles and practices and 90% of Academy participants will gain an improved understanding of the design and implementation of agroforestry practices including documented changes in awareness and knowledge. Beyond the immediate benefits of the Academy, 50% of educators who complete the Academy will offer subsequent training and education programs in agroforestry for farmers and landowners throughout the five-state region.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Goal: To achieve on-the-ground adoption of agroforestry
    Objectives: Create a regional agroforestry knowledge network
    1. Train a core group of individuals who deal with land management issues and/or interact with farmers and landowners.
    2. Facilitate collaboration among researchers, extension personnel, and practitioners, diverse disciplines, departments and colleges, and different agencies and organizations.

    Project Outputs
    1. Updated agroforestry training curricula including release and distribution of the updated 2013 Agroforestry Training Manual.
    2. One Agroforestry Academy per year, over two years.
    3. A total of 50 professionals trained from different agencies across 5 states.
    4. Online learning community network for academy participants and graduates.
    a) Recorded workshops available online.
    b) Online directory of agroforestry professionals and practitioners.
    c) Regional inventory of on-the-ground applications of agroforestry practices.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.