Our Center supports a number of agroforestry initiatives that train growers and agricultural educators in establishing and maintaining agroforestry systems and that support greater viability of agroforestry at a systems level. Find more information about each of the projects below.

Agroforestry Trainings for Natural Resource Professionals

Appalachain Sustainable Development, in partnership with Interlace Commons , Savanna Institute, Cornell University, and Virginia Tech, has been awarded funding from the Edwards Mother Earth Foundation (EMEF) to improve agroforestry technical assistance for forest farming, alley cropping, and silvopasture to meet the growing support needs of farmers. To increase agroforestry adoption, project partners are offering Agroforestry Trainings for Natural Resource Professionals that provide agroforestry education and build a network of agricultural technical service providers. This model includes an online course for virtual learning throughout the U.S. and regional in-person trainings at demonstration sites in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast. Focus practices include forest farming, alley cropping, and silvopasture initially, with room for expansion to other agroforestry practices over time.

Trainings are available to public, private, and non-profit technical service providers, K-12 educators, and farmers interested in implementing agroforestry practices. Intentional justice, equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility efforts are made to actively engage people from diverse communities, including BIPOC, LGBTQA+, economically distressed, and other underserved populations. Our Center supported in 2023 through faciliation and organzing logistics for hosting three agroforestry training sessions in 2023 and will continue to do so in 2024 and 2025. 

Please SIGN UP if you would like to stay up to date on agroforestry TtT opportunities. For further information, please contact Stesha Warren at swarren@asdevelop.org.

 Point of Harvest Trainings for Wild Harvesters

The Point of Harvest (PoH) initiative, led by the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition and Appalachian Sustainable Development, offers free training to wild harvesters and buyers of woodland roots, barks, and more. The program is designed to help participants access premium priced markets and includes training in plant identification, propagation and stewardship, sustainable harvest, post harvest handling, and storage and processing. Our Center provides organizational support for hosting the PoH trainings.

Accelerating Forest Farming in Central Appalachia

“Accelerating Forest Farming in Central Appalachia'' is a multifaceted Appalachian Regional Initiative for Stronger Economies (ARISE) Planning Project funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission and designed to prepare and submit an ARISE Implementation Project proposal that will transform a globally-significant agricultural cluster of Appalachian forest farmers, primary buyers of forest farmed materials, woodland species nurseries, and local communities who benefit from regional forest farming cultivation. The planning project is led by Dr. John Munsell and leverages an existing collaboration between 11 partners who are involved in improving forest farming marketing and technological innovations, seed-to-sales sector capacity and efficiency, enterprise-based community development, and profit-generating cultural initiatives, as well as local-to-international industry investments and consumer demand. Our Center, under Dr. Katie Trozzo's leadership, provides facilitation support for this planning project, including the kick-off and summative retreats. 

The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center Forest Herb Network

The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center’s Forest Herb Network was established in 2021 to help prospective and new growers in the Roanoke and New River valleys and beyond to cultivate, process, and sell woodland medicinal herbs. Our Center has helped provide organizational support for educational programming.