About the Center
The mission of the National Agroforestry Center (NAC) is “to advance the health, diversity, and productivity of working lands, waters, and communities through agroforestry.” America’s working lands — farms, ranches and forests — are facing increasing pressures to maximize production for a growing population while minimizing the impacts to wildlife, soils, water, and other ecosystem services on which we depend. The expansion of crops and other agricultural activities is generating a greater need for these production and protective services. Agroforestry — the intentional integration of agriculture and forestry — has tremendous potential to restore and enhance ecosystem services critical to meeting these needs.
What We Do
The Center accelerates the adoption of agroforestry by leading, catalyzing, coordinating, and conducting research and science-based outreach. It is the only U.S. Department of Agriculture unit dedicated to agroforestry and is uniquely poised to provide U.S. leadership in agroforestry research and application. The staff has developed a seamless approach to conducting and integrating research and technology transfer within the Center through the integration of Research and Development and Technology Transfer and Applications teams.
The Research Team conducts, synthesizes, and distills research. It also produces tools and information that support land management decision-making. The Technology Transfer and Applications Team develops and delivers science-based agroforestry information to natural resource professionals working with farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, Tribes, and communities. This information is delivered through publications, workshops, training, and demonstration sites.
The Center’s partnership approach has been critical to its leadership and advancement of agroforestry. From the beginning, NAC has been based on a three-way USDA partnership, encompassing two USDA Forest Service Deputy Areas, Research and Development and State and Private Forestry, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Additionally, the Center relies on an extensive network of partners spanning a vast array of universities, non-profit organizations, state and Federal agencies, and conservation districts. These partnerships and networks continue to expand and serve a central role in NAC’s advancement of agroforestry research and technology transfer.
The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) has its origins in the 1990 Farm Bill. It began as a Forest Service Research and State & Private Forestry effort in 1992 and expanded into a partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1995. It is administered by the Forest Service's Washington, DC Office of Research and Development. The Center's offices are located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Over the years, NAC has delivered more than 1.3 million requested publications into the hands of natural resource professionals who use them to promote agroforestry at workshops, trainings, and other events across the country. NAC researchers have fostered practical science and created tools to further agroforestry adoption. NAC’s research program has evolved much over the past 25 years — from developing stress and pest resistant plant materials for the Great Plains to providing management solutions that address a wide range of of forest and agricultural needs across the United States. The Center has had many impacts in the field of agroforestry through its tool development, outreach, education, and partnerships across the country.