Trainer's Training in Agroforestry Practices in the Southeastern Region: 1890 Agroforestry Consortium Initiative

2013 Annual Report for ES13-114

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2013: $99,540.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2015
Region: Southern
State: Alabama
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Uma Karki
Tuskegee University

Trainer's Training in Agroforestry Practices in the Southeastern Region: 1890 Agroforestry Consortium Initiative


This project is an initiative of the 1890 Agroforestry Consortium (1890AC) to train field-level Extension and technical assistant personnel (hereafter field personnel) and lead landowners in agroforestry practices in the Southeastern Region. The 1890AC was established in 2000 under the aegis of USDA Forest Service to enable collaborative partnerships among 1890 institutions in agroforestry research, teaching, and Extension. Tuskegee University is leading the project and four other 1890 land-grant universities: Alabama A&M, Alcorn State, Florida A&M, and North Carolina A&T are collaborating. Collaborators from all these universities are members of the 1890AC. Agroforestry is a sustainable land-use system that involves an intentional integration and management of trees, crops, and/or livestock in a single management unit. This system offers diversified income opportunities, promotes sound environment, and creates appealing scenery, thereby promoting the sustainability of the whole system. Southeastern Region has a great potential for developing various agroforestry practices because of this region’s suitable environment for growing all components of agroforestry systems. However, the adoption of agroforestry practices is currently negligible because of inadequate research and Extension education.  The project goal is to train field personnel and limited resource landowners in agroforestry practices for efficient management of land resources. Project objectives are to 1) develop training curricula in agroforestry practices, and 2) train field personnel and lead landowners in agroforestry practices in the Southeastern Region. Major project activities are to prepare training curricula and conduct hands-on training in agroforestry practices. Targeted trainees will be reached through the Cooperative Extension Program of land-grant universities, relevant community-based organizations, and USDA-NRCS offices. Development of training curricula, several field-level trainers, and lead landowners willing to engage in agroforestry practices are the expected results. Project results will be evaluated using pre- and post-workshop tests, follow-up surveys, and site visits.

Objectives/Performance Targets

Objective 1. To develop training curricula in Agroforestry practices  The performance targets for this objective are to prepare training curricula (manual) that include (1) the basic principles of agroforestry practices, and (2) application of these principles in the development and management of different agroforestry practices such as silvopasture, alley cropping, forest farming, riparian buffers, and windbreaks. Moreover, information on economic and environmental benefits of agroforestry systems is to be included in the manual. Computer-based presentations relevant to different topics of the training manual will be prepared for use in the training sessions. Also, educational videos of different activities and exemplary agroforestry practices will be produced. This package of materials will be used to train field personnel and lead landowners. A package of the training materials will also be made available to the trainees so that they can refer to the materials whenever needed and also use them for training landowners in their working areas. The set of training materials will increase the capacity of collaborating institutions and the field personnel in educating landowners in various agroforestry practices.  In the process of curricula development, experts from the collaborating land-grant universities are working together through various meetings, conference calls, webinars, emails, and telephone calls. In this process, experts are expected to strengthen their knowledge in the area of their expertise and also gain knowledge on other topics while reviewing them. As a result, their knowledge and skills on various agroforestry practices will be more comprehensive than before, and the experts will be more effective educators than before. The participant county agents and landowners will review the curricula outline and drafts (both initial and final) and provide their inputs basically focusing on the practical application of the curricular materials at the landowners’ level. From this involvement, county agents and landowners become aware and educated on the agroforestry system, and be encouraged and prepared for their expected role of implementation of different practices.  2) To train field personnel and lead landowners in agroforestry practices in the Southeastern Region  Curricula-based training, site tours of different research, demonstration, and production plots, and hands-on opportunities will be provided to the field personnel and lead landowners. Such opportunities will increase the skills and knowledge of the trainees in agroforestry. By visiting different research, demonstration, and production sites, trainees will develop confidence in agroforestry practices. Confident, skillful, and knowledgeable personnel will train landowners in their working areas on how to develop suitable agroforestry practices and manage them sustainably. Moreover, trained field personnel will also provide technical services to landowners on a wide range of options for sustainable land management on a daily basis as an essential part of their job. Thus, many landowners will be trained, helped, and encouraged to adopt suitable agroforestry practices and make their land use more sustainable. Such training sessions will serve as eye openers for many landowners to visualize various possible options they can adopt to manage their land for better environmental and economic opportunities. Trained landowners will be able to assess and adopt suitable agroforestry practices to get more benefits than before. This project will not only increase the training capacity of participating institutions, but also of other institutions that have field personnel trained through this project. Lead, trained landowners will serve as peer-trainers and engage in agroforestry practices as innovators in their communities. This will encourage fellow landowners to adopt agroforestry practices for sustainable land use and be competitive in the global market.


Objective 1. To develop training curricula in Agroforestry practices 

An outline of the training curricula was developed, revised, and finalized by the project personnel. There are seven modules in total, with few modules having different sections. These modules are 1) Silvopasture (contains five sections: Silvopasture Introduction,Establishment and Management of Trees in Silvopasture Systems, Forage Selection and Establishment in a Silvopasture System, Suitable Animal Species and Facility Requirements for Grazing in a Silvopasture System, and Sustainable Grazing Management in a Silvopasture System), 2) Forest Farming, 3) Alley Cropping, 4) Riparian Buffers, 5) Windbreaks, 6) Ecosystem Services, and 7) Economic Assessment. Drafts of most of these modules, except one section of Silvopasture (Establishment and Management of Trees in Silvopasture Systems) and Economic Assessment module (the original collaborator for this module pulled out from the team, and the project director is in the process of recruiting new collaborator for this module), are ready for review. After all modules are ready and reviewed by participant landowners, field personnel, and outside reviewers, these will be compiled, formatted, and sent for publication. The training manual will be published before the scheduled training dates (mentioned under Objective 2 below).

Objective 2. To train field personnel and lead landowners in agroforestry practices in the Southeastern Region  Two 2-day training sessions based on the curricula will be conducted at Tuskegee University facility (October 23-24, 2014) and North Carolina A&T (November 20-21, 2014).Starting soon,field personnel in the Southeastern Region will be approached through the Cooperative Extension Program of land-grant universities, State Forestry Commissions, USDA/NRCS offices, and relevant community-based organizations including Federation of Southern Cooperatives. Selected lead landowners will also be included as trainees. All training materials will be used for training purposes. Agroforestry sites available at the host institutions and their outreach areas will be used for site tours, demonstrations, and hands-on activities to provide experiential learning opportunities to the trainees. All trainees will receive a package of relevant educational materials including the training manual so that they can use it while conducting field-level training sessions (field personnel) and/or implementing the selected agroforestry practices (landowners).

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

The impacts and contributions are yet to be observed. Expected outcomes are increase in knowledge and skills of key personnel, and trained field personnel and lead landowners on various agroforestry practices, such as importance of agroforestry practices and types of agroforestry: silvopasture, forest farming, alley cropping, riparian buffers, and windbreaks. Moreover, trainees will understand the economic, environmental, and social benefits of agroforestry systems. They will also gain knowledge and skills on establishing and/or managing all three components of agroforestry systems (trees, crops, and/or pasture/grazing animals). Trained field personnel will conduct training for landowners using the training manual. Similarly, trained lead landowners will apply the acquired knowledge and skills to implement agroforestry practices, and also encourage fellow landowners to adopt suitable agroforestry practices. Collaborating team will organize more training based on clientele demand. Because of all these efforts and actions, there will be more adoption of suitable agroforestry practices in the Southeastern Region. Consequently, landowners will earn both short- and long-term incomes; environmental condition will be improved with milder climatic conditions, more carbon sequestration, less soil erosion, and better water quality; and biodiversity will be enhanced and wildlife habitat improved. Moreover, the capacity of collaborating institutions and field personnel will be strengthened for providing continuous Extension education to their clientele and help them make their operation more sustainable.


Dr. Nar Gurung
Research Associate Professor
Tuskegee University
207 Milbank Hall
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, AL 36088
Office Phone: 3347278457
Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd
Associate Professor
Alcorn State University
1000 ASU Drive 703
Alcorn State, MS 39096-7500
Office Phone: 6018776532
Dr. Lila Karki
Agricultral Economist
Tuskegee University
201 Morrison-Mayberry Hall
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee, AL 36088
Office Phone: 3347505226
Dr. Colmore Christian
Associate Professor
Alabama A&M University
P. O. Box 1927
Normal , AL 35762
Office Phone: 2563724335
Dr. Srinivasa Mentreddy
Alabama A&M University
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Alabama A&M University
Normal, AL 35762
Office Phone: 2563724250
Dr. Youssouf Diabate
Assistant Professor
Tuskegee University
201 Mary Starke Harper Hall
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee , AL 36088
Office Phone: 3347244428
Dr. Oghenekome Onokpise
Florida A&M University
Perry-Paige Building
Room 204 South
Tallahassee, FL 32307
Office Phone: 8505998816
Dr. Joshua Idassi
Natural Resources Specialist
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
NCAT-Cooperative Etension Program
North Carolina A&T State University
Greensboro, NC 27411
Office Phone: 3362854688