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1890 Agroforestry Consortium

The 1890 Agroforestry Consortium is a team of 1890 land-grant university and USDA government agency partners. Its mission is to develop and advance agroforestry research, teaching, and extension among the 1890 land-grant universities plus Tuskegee University, using multi-disciplinary teams of faculty and staff working in partnership with government agencies and other entities. This initiative will significantly expand 1890 university agroforestry partnership opportunities with NIFA, Forest Service, and NRCS.

Many small farms and woodland owners are reluctant to produce tree-based products using traditional forestry practices because of the lag time between planting and income generation. Agroforestry is a land use practice that combines the production of agricultural crops with that of timber and other tree-based products. Agroforestry offers advantages over forestry in producing agricultural products throughout the life of the tree so that income flow is not interrupted. Agroforestry was identified by the USDA Advisory Committee on Small Farms in their report “Building on A Time to Act” as a means of increasing the sustainability of small farms. However, agroforestry is a new land use practice in the United States and requires further research, education, and outreach activities if adoption by landowners is to increase.

The agricultural and forestry professionals are ideally positioned to lead research, education, and extension activities because of their long-standing commitment and success in serving small farmers, small woodland owners, alternative farming practice operators, cooperatives owners/managers and collaborators.

The consortium’s strategic directions are:

  • develop and/or enhance agroforestry capabilities at the 1890s;
  • collaborate with other institutions;
  • identify agroforestry research, education, and extension needs;
  • advocate for agroforestry; and
  • create and foster international linkages

The consortium is developing an organizational structure, business plan, and communication strategy.

Consortium members are:

Gwendolyn Boyd, Assistant Professor-Agriculture, Alcorn State University
George Brown, Retired, Alabama A&M University
Rory Fraser, Assistant Professor-Soil and Plant Science, Alabama A&M University
James Hill, 1890 SARE Liaison, Fort Valley State University
Joshua Idassi¸ Consortium Chair, NIFA Summer Fellow, and Extension Forester, Tennessee State University
Fulbert Namwamba, Assistant Professor-Urban Forestry, Southern University
Jim Robinson, USDA NRCS Agroforester
Karl Dalla Rosa, Forest Stewardship Program Manager, USDA Forest Service
Pete Roussopoulos, Director, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service
Greg Ruark, Director of the USDA National Agroforestry Center,
Catalino Blanche, NIFA Forest Biology National Program Leader
Eric Norland, NIFA Forest Resources Management National Program Leader

For more information, contact Catalino Blanche, Eric Norland, or Joshua Idassi, jidassi@tnstate.edu.


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