Open range woodlands: An untapped resource for small-scale farms

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2008: $6,432.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Northeast
State: West Virginia
Project Leader:
Chuck Talbott
Black Oak Holler Farm, LLC

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: barley, canola, corn, oats, rapeseed, soybeans, sunflower, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Vegetables: cucurbits
  • Animals: swine


  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Crop Production: agroforestry
  • Education and Training: demonstration, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Energy: energy conservation/efficiency
  • Farm Business Management: feasibility study, market study, value added, agritourism
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems, sustainability measures

    Proposal summary:

    With corn prices rising, once traditional Appalachian sources of swine nutrition such as chestnuts, acorns, roots, tubers, carrion, and other woodland products are becoming more viable. The farmer will develop a forest management plan that specifically supports swine production and will introduce new food sources in a 70-acre fenced woodland. The acorns, persimmons, chestnuts, and other foods will be collected, sorted, and weighed with the goal of identifying and quantifying alternative feed resources. Outreach will be through an extension field day and printed matter about alternative hog systems.

    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.