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Latest Issue

New and Beginning Farmers Opening up Possibilities Through Agroforestry

This issue highlights the opportunities that agroforestry is providing to new and beginning farmers, showcasing its use through USDA programs, agroforestry leasing, coalition building, and engagement in a variety of educational opportunities.

Cover of issue.


An Overview of Agroforestry

Agroforestry is a management system that combines agriculture and trees to address conservation needs and build more profitable and weather-resilient farms, ranches and communities. Agroforestry practices provide opportunities to integrate productivity and profitability with environmental stewardship resulting in healthy and sustainable agricultural systems that can be passed on to future generations.

New Farmers

Tractor working an area between rows of trees.

Agroforestry offers opportunities for many types of farms and ranches, including specialty crop production and conservation benefits. Farmers can establish an agroforestry practice on a small area, or can use many practices across their farm to create an integrated agroforestry system. Agroforestry operations can be very productive at a small scale, which may be helpful to new farmers who operate on fewer acres.

While all of the National Agroforestry Center’s materials may be relevant to new farmers and ranchers, the publications and resources listed here may be most useful.

USDA has many additional resources for new farmers on the New Farmers website, which highlights programs and resources based on location, type of farm, and other information.

New farmers interested in upcoming agroforestry-related events and workshops in their area can visit NAC’s calendar page to learn more. NAC also provides agroforestry training resources as well as a webinar library.

Related Publications

Agroforestry Notes

  • Riparian Forest Buffers: An Agroforestry Practice, Agroforestry Note #49, Riparian Forest Buffers #1
  • An Overview of Agroforestry, Agroforestry Note #1, General #1
  • Planning Agroforestry Practices, Agroforestry Note #20, General #3
  • Alley Cropping: An Agroforestry Practice, Agroforestry Note #12, Alley Cropping #1
  • Forest Farming: An Agroforestry Practice, Agroforestry Note #7, Forest Farming #1
  • Silvopasture: An Agroforestry Practice, Agroforestry Note #8, Silvopasture #1
  • Windbreaks: An Agroforestry Practice, Agroforestry Note #25, Windbreaks #1

Inside Agroforestry

  • Volume 24, Issue 2: Why Agroforestry?
  • Volume 24, Issue 1: Finding Agroforestry in the 2014 Farm Bill
  • Volume 22, Issue 2: Locally Sourced

More Publications

  • Inspirations for Creating a Long-Term Agricultural Lease for Agroforestry: A Workbook

Working Trees Brochures

  • Working Trees For Agriculture
  • Árboles Trabajando En Beneficio De La Ganadería

Working Trees Info Sheets

Additional Brochures

  • Productive Conservation: Growing Specialty Forest Products In Agroforestry Plantings (4 pages)
  • Profitable Farms and Woodlands: A Practical Guide to Agroforestry for Landowners, Farmers and Ranchers (28 pages)



Related Links

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About Agroforestry

Agroforestry intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems. Agroforestry takes advantage of the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. Agroforestry practices include:

About the NAC

The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) had 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. NAC offices are located in Lincoln, Nebraska.

NAC accelerates the application of agroforestry through a national network of partners. Together, we conduct research, develop technologies and tools, coordinate demonstrations and training, and provide useful information to natural resource professionals.

About Working Trees

The right trees planted in the right places for the right reasons can add value to land-use systems. That's the Working Trees message that helps natural resource professionals, community leaders, and landowners identify with the concept of agroforestry. NAC uses the Working Trees theme to promote the development of sustainable agriculture and communities.


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