Fencing in Silvopasture for Sheep and Goat Production Across Missouri

Project Overview

Project Type: Partnership
Funds awarded in 2023: $49,896.00
Projected End Date: 04/29/2025
Grant Recipient: Lincoln University
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Mohan Acharya
Lincoln University

Information Products


  • Animals: goats, sheep
  • Animal Products: meat


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing management, range improvement, rangeland/pasture management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer

    Proposal abstract:

    Silvopasture is the production practice that integrates trees, pasture, and livestock production together to maximizes income from multiple harvests at the same time. Apart from economic benefits, silvopasture has potential to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, preserves soil quality, balances forest ecology, and promotes environmentally sustainable production practices (Jose & Dollinger, 2019).

    Missouri is a home for 15 million-acres of forest, and 17 million-acres of pasture, providing huge possibilities for a silvopastoral-system of livestock production (ECS-MAF, 2021). In the state, sixty-four thousand agricultural producers (86% of the total) are small farmers with less than $25,000 gross sales per year (MA-SBA, 2021). Silvopastoral system of livestock production can maximize the income of small farmers by using available forest and pastureland, while maintaining environmental biodiversity and minimizing effects of climate change.

    Sheep and goat enterprise can be started in a small farm with small breeding stock. Animals reach slaughter size quickly, can be raised on forage alone, and investment can be paid fast. Thus, it can be an excellent enterprise for small farmers and low-income producers. The objective of this program is to train producers on fencing in the silvopasture for sheep and goat production across Missouri.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    The overall objective of this project is to make small-farmers able to start sheep and goat production in the silvopasture. Our specific objectives are:

    1. Provide onsite demonstration for building a portable electric fence and water system in silvopasture.
    2. Familiarize farmers with different types of fences [permanent (border) and temporary (inside to create sub-paddock)], water-systems, forages, and trees.
    3. Help farmers become aware of different energizers (battery powered systems, solar rechargers, and AC powered units), how to troubleshoot including risk of falling branches from trees, and
    4. Provide book, extension factsheets, booklets, and information on local fencing suppliers.
    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.