MINNEAPOLIS — The Sustainable Farming Association (SFA) is hosting three virtual and in-person events in April 2021 focused on Silvopasture & Agroforestry topics.
On April 20, SFA is co-hosting “Saving the Savanna: Restoring a historic habitat in Burnsville, Minnesota,” with the Silvopasture Learning Network. Home to many bur and white oaks dotting its gently rolling hills, Terrace Oaks Park provides a great example of the City’s efforts to restore oak savanna habitat and remove invasive species. Professor Rebecca Montgomery, University of MN Department of Forest Resources, will provide background on oak savanna ecosystems, what makes them unique, and why it is important to restore them. And Caleb Ashling, Natural Resources Specialist with the City of Burnsville will discuss their restoration showcase at Terrace Oaks Park. This webinar will run from 11 AM to noon. REGISTER.
On April 21, SFA is holding a webinar on “Adaptive Grazing & Silvopasture” with Dr. Sue Wika and Dr. Tom Prieve of Paradox Farm, from 9-10:30 AM. Silvopastures are complex agroecosystems with the potential to provide an array of sustainable products and services. From healthy pasture-based foods and forest products to clean water and carbon sequestration, highly skilled grazing management is critical to the success and optimization of these systems. This webinar will present an overview of Adaptive Grazing Management and a look into its application to Silvopasture. REGISTER.
Closing out the week on April 23, staff, presenters, and participants will head out to Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge for an in-person, hands-on Energized Fence Training & Silvopasture Workshop/Tour from 8:30 AM-4 PM. This free full-day training is designed for those interested in oak savanna restoration, silvopasture, adaptive or conservation grazing, and semi-permanent fence designs for grazing management. There will be considerable walking and heavy work. This event is limited to 20 people, and masks and social distancing are required. The full schedule, what to expect, and what to wear are available on SFA’s Silvopasture & Agroforestry Project homepage. REGISTER.
Also of interest to those practicing or considering implementing a silvopasture management system is the recently published “Silvopasture Case Studies.” Researched and written by Jared Luhman, SFA’s Soil Health Lead, these case studies feature farmers throughout Minnesota who have been using silvopasture practices for three or more years and whose stories offer tangible examples, support, and encouragement to others.
The case studies reflect the partners’ understanding that farmers learn best from each other and that strong connections across the landscape will result in wider adoption of effective silvopasture practices. They are modeled after a series of two soil health case study publications made possible through the Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (SWRSDP) and a third supported by the Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (SERSDP).
The Silvopasture Case Studies are made possible through a partnership among the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension, Great River Greening (GRG), and the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota (SFA). Together, these groups are part of the project “Silvopasture for Oak Savanna Restoration” funded by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).
More information on Silvopasture & Agroforestry resources and events is available on SFA’s website: https://www.sfa-mn.
— Sustainable Farming Association
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