Pioneer Agroforestry Farm Tour Video Series

Savanna Institute | 2019

A new video series on Midwest agroforestry has just been released by the Savanna Institute and North Central SARE. The six-part Pioneer Agroforestry Farm Tour Video Series features brief, detailed interviews with farmers who are advancing agroforestry in the Midwest. The series is currently available on the Savanna Institute’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Each video provides a concise overview of the entire farm operation at each farm, using a mix of farmer interviews and in-field footage. Within five to ten minutes, each video provides an overview of the primary crops and livestock, the key challenges and opportunities each farm is dealing with, and some reflective moments with the farmers.

“We can make a difference,” reflected one participating farmer, Terry Durham. “It only takes a few people working hard and being dedicated and loving this earth to make a difference in your community and in this world.”

Created by the Savanna Institute with support from an NCR-SARE Partnership grant, the six-video series documents, synthesizes, and disseminates more than 183 years of collective agroforestry experience. Watch the videos to learn from producers like:

  • Greg Judy of Green Pastures Farm in Clark, Missouri
  • Dan Shepherd of Shepherd Farms in Clifton Hill, Missouri
  • Terry Durham with River Hills Harvest Farms 
  • Harry and Jackie Hoch of Hoch Orchard and Gardens in La Crescent, Minnesota
  • Mark Shepard of New Forest Farm in Viola, Wisconsin
  • Tom Wahl and Kathy Dice of Red Fern Farm in Wapello, Iowa 

“Agroforestry is a sustainable agricultural paradigm that integrates trees with crops and/or livestock,” said Kevin Wolz, Co-Executive Director at the Savanna Institute. “Agroforestry practices can be highly profitable while simultaneously restoring critical ecosystem services degraded by conventional agriculture. Although agroforestry has not yet been widely adopted across the North-Central Region, a collection of pioneer farmers established their farms decades ago, well ahead of the curve. Collectively, these pioneers host a wealth of knowledge gained through experience – both success and failure.”

The Savanna Institute is a nonprofit group working to lay the groundwork for widespread agroforestry in the North Central region. They work in collaboration with farmers and scientists to develop perennial food and fodder crops within multifunctional polyculture systems grounded in ecology and inspired by the savanna biome. 

All videos were produced by Wil Crombie of Man Alone Media, a Savanna Institute collaborator who manages his own agroforestry farm in southeastern Minnesota.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant:

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. 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.