Landowner Webinar An Introduction to Agroforestry and Silvopasture Resources

On May 18th, 2020 North County Land Trust hosted an Introduction to Agroforestry and Silvopasture webinar on the Zoom platform.  Speakers included Michael Downey, DCR Forester, Kate MacFarland, Agroforester for the USDA National Agroforestry Center, Jeff Jourdain, consulting Forester, and Tom Bratko, a landowner practicing Silvopasture.

If you weren’t able to join us for the live webinar you can view the recording HERE.


Michael Downey 

Michael is a Service Forester and Forest Stewardship Program Coordinator for the Massachusetts Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Forestry (DCR).  He works with landowners and municipalities throughout the  commonwealth to sustainably  manage their woods.  Before coming back to Massachusetts in 2005, he previously worked as a Service Forester for the Kentucky Division of Forestry.  Michael holds a BS in Forestry from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a BA in History from Westfield State College.​

Kate MacFarland 

Kate MacFarland is an Agroforester for the USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC). She is part of the technology transfer team at NAC, serving as the liaison to the northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and west coast regions. Her work focuses on providing leadership for national and regional workshops and trainings, developing outreach materials for science delivery to a range of technical and general audiences, and supporting the integration of agroforestry into USDA programs.

Jeff Jourdain

Jeff is a consulting forester based in Becket, Massachusetts who has worked with a number of landowners in recent years to evaluate and implement silvopasture projects in New England.

Tom Bratko

Tom and Jassy Bratko own a 100 acres 100% grass fed beef farm in Hubbardston. Tom has been farming full time since his retirement 12 years ago. He raises Hereford cattle’s that are bred to black Angus or Devon bulls. He has between 8 and 20 head of cattle per year. He also raises 4-6 pigs per year to work on the farm and provide pork for his family.

Resource materials from our presenters can be found below:

Michael Downey’s Presentation – An introductory overview of Agroforestry

Kate MacFarland’s Presentation – Silvopasture: Site and Management Considerations

Jeff Jourdain’s Presentation – Establishing Silvopasture from Forest

General Links

USDA National Agroforestry Center  – The mission of the USDA National Agroforestry Center is to advance the health, diversity, and productivity of working lands, waters, and communities through agroforestry.

The Center for Agroforestry   – The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri, established in 1998, is one of the world’s leading centers contributing to the science underlying agroforestry practices. Agroforestry practices involve intensive land-use management combining trees and/or shrubs with crops and/or livestock.

Association for Temperate Agroforestry – The mission of AFTA is to promote the wider adoption of agroforestry by landowners in temperate regions of North America. Formed in 1991, the Association for Temperate Agroforestry Inc. (AFTA) is a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization based at the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry at Columbia.

Cornell Small Farms Program – The Cornell Small Farms Program was established in 2001 as a program of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) to increase research and extension for small farms.

Agroforestry Net – Agroforestry Net, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational resources about agroforestry, trees, and sustainable stewardship of land and water. Agroforestry Net’s mission is to promote regenerative, biodiverse, and thriving agroecosystems, communities, and economies through education and research.

Silvopasture (online course) – This website and course is the product of a USDA interagency collaboration between the US Forest Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, the National Agroforestry Center, and the University of Georgia’s BUGWOOD Network. This website is intended as a self-directed learning resource for private landowners, agency resource personnel and others interested in Silvopasture.

World Agroforestry Centre – World Agroforestry (ICRAF) is a centre of science and development excellence that harnesses the benefits of trees for people and the environment. Leveraging the world’s largest repository of agroforestry science and information, we develop knowledge practices, from farmers’ fields to the global sphere, to ensure food security and environmental sustainability.

Silvopasture – Ning community message board for Silvopasture topics.

NRCS Conservation Practice Standards References:

National NRCS Conservation Practice Standards (scroll to Silvopasture (381)) – Technical guides from Natural Resources Conservation Service.  Field office Technical guides to be used as reference in conjunction with professional conservation planning.

Massachusetts NRCS Silvopasture Conservation Practice Standard – USDA NRCS Conservation Practice Standard for Silvopasture guide document.

Map of NRCS Conservation Practice Standards for Agroforestry – Use the map below to see if your state offers standards for the following practices: Alley Cropping, Multistory Cropping (Forest Farming), Riparian Forest Buffers, Silvopasture, Windbreak Establishment, and Windbreak Renovation.

Leasing for Agroforestry:

Inspirations for Creating a Long-Term Agricultural Lease for Agroforestry: A Workbook – Workbook created by Farm Commons and Savanna Institute supported by USDA National Agroforestry Center exploring long-term agroforestry leases and providing assistance for landowners to decide if agroforestry leasing is for them.