Specialty Forestry Products Professional Development

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2000: $35,631.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $38,604.00
Region: North Central
State: Nebraska
Project Coordinator:
Susan Wirth
National Arbor Day Foundation

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: berries (other)
  • Nuts: hazelnuts, walnuts
  • Additional Plants: native plants, ornamentals, trees


  • Crop Production: windbreaks
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, new enterprise development, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, soil stabilization, wildlife, hedges - woody
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships, analysis of personal/family life, sustainability measures


    A train-the-trainer workshop focusing on the production and marketing of specialty forest products was held May 23-24, 2002 at Arbor Day Farm in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Over 70 extension educators and natural resource professionals came from 12 states to learn more about the sustainability and financial potential of commercially valuable specialty products produced from trees and shrubs, including medicinal and botanicals, food products, woody decorative floral items, and handicraft products. Participants learned about ways to integrate such products into current farm or woodland operations, what is needed to process these crops, and the outlook for specialty product markets. Participants are now leading numerous workshops to create a multiplier effect to reach nearly a thousand producers and landowners across the Midwest.

    Project objectives:

    Objectives of the project were to:
    1. Hold a train-the-trainer workshop to inform, educate, and provide training tools and materials about sustainable agriculture practices focusing on specialty forest products to natural resource people working with producers and landowners.
    2. Hold regional workshops and a field day to transfer information to producers, landowners, and other natural resource professionals about specialty forest products.
    3. Develop and provide educational brochures about specialty forest products to partner organizations for distribution to producers as well as conservation groups and other visitors to the Lied Lodge & Conference Center and Arbor Day Farm.
    4. Track implementation, by participants, of sustainable agriculture practices that focus on specialty forest products.

    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.