What is Agroforestry?

Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees and/or shrubs are grown with crops and/or livestock. This intentional combination of agriculture and forestry has a variety of environmental and economic benefits, including crop diversification, soil erosion reduction, water quality improvement, wildlife habitat enhancement, and much more! There are several agroforestry practices, including: forest farmingriparian forest buffersalley croppingsilvopasturewindbreaks, and food forests.

Agroforestry Benefits

Economic

• Increase diversity of crops and income
• Improve yield and productivity
• Enhance product quality
• Maximize full economic potential of land
• Energy bill conservation

Environmental

• Improve air and water quality
• Reduce soil erosion and improve soil health
• Increase pollinator and wildlife habitat
• Mitigate risks of climate change
• Increase biodiversity

Social

• Increase food access
• Noise cancellation from roads, etc.
• Block and filter pollution
• Visual screens
• Aesthetic landscape

Agroforestry Practices

Forest Farming : Cultivation and/or stewardship of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) in the forest understory.

Alley Cropping : Rows of trees or shrubs planted with herbaceous crops in between in the “alleyways”.

ASD’s Agroforestry Program was founded in 2010 with the goal of helping farmers adopt agroforestry practices that support both conservation and specialty crop production. Historically, ASD has worked with government agencies to establish multifunctional riparian forest buffers with useful fruit and nut trees and shrubs along waterways, as well as food forests along public walking trails. Currently, ASD has funding to help farmers establish, process and market forest botanicals in a forest farming system or field grown medicinal herbs in an alley cropping system.

Complete our agroforestry assistance application to see what services we can offer you!

If you are a landowner interested in diversifying your income, agroforestry may be a fit for you!

Please complete the application so we can learn a little more about your land, interests, and experiences. We can then offer assistance ranging from access to our newsletter, a technical assistance phone call, and/or an on-farm site visit based on our funding and availability. The demand for high quality, ethically sourced herbs is growing, so join the local herb farming movement today!

Please read the application description before starting the application.

Complete the Application
Ready to process and market your medicinal herbs to premium priced buyers? Check out the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub in Duffield, VA for assistance to help get you started!
Visit the Herb Hub Page

Testimonials & Farmer Profiles

Funding & Research Opportunities

For more information on funding sources, download our Agroforestry funding sources guide !

Download the Guide

Email Katie Commender for more information.

Email Katie

Upcoming Events

Resources

Click the button below for agroforestry resources, including information on planting, forest botanicals, native fruits and nuts, markets and more!.

Resources

The Agroforestry Team

Katie Commender

Agroforestry Director

eMail Katie

Robin Suggs

Procurement Manager

eMail Robin

Michelle Bouton

Herbal Ed. Associate

eMail Michelle

Ciera Wilbur

Forest Farming VISTA

eMail Ciera

Chloe Yates

Agroforestry VISTA

eMail Chloe