Agroforestry Case Studies


A Landowner’s Guide To Perennial Crop Options

 This document summarizes Midwest management practices, production data, pricing information, tips for success, enterprise worksheets and a financial model showing the potential return on investment for growing six agroforestry crops: aronia berry, black walnuts, chestnuts, Christmas trees, elderberries and hazelnuts. The guide and case studies for each crop also are available from Trees Forever. Work was conducted as part of a Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture research grant.

Chestnuts at Red Fern Farm

Tom Wahl and Kathy Dice raise a variety of fruit, berry and nut crops at Red Fern Farm nursery and tree farm in southeast Iowa. Chestnuts are one of the farm’s most marketable crops. Due to high demand, Wahl has become a chestnut broker for other growers in his area. Read this MAAWG case study.  Download a 2-page print-friendly PDF version of the Red Fern Farm case study.

Elderberries at East Grove Farm

Kurt Garretson and his family specialize in elderberries and other heritage crops on the historic East Grove Farm near Salem, Iowa, where they are also developing a winery. Read this MAAWG case study.  Download a 2-page print-friendly PDF version of the East Grove Farm case study.

Silvopasture at Early Boots Farm

At Early Boots Farm, beginning farmer Tyler Carlson and wife Kate Droske are incorporating an agroforestry practice known as silvopasture into the gourmet, grass-fed and finished beef farm they are establishing on family land near Sauk Centre, Minnesota. MAAWG case study.  Read this MAAWG case study. Download a 2-page print-friendly PDF version of the Early Boots Farm case study.

Pecans and Niche Crops at Shepherd Farms

Dan and Jan Shepherd started growing nuts and other “niche” crops and livestock  in 1971 on their diversified farm in north-central Missouri. Read this case study in the New American Farmer: Profiles of Agricultural Innovation (SARE 2005). Since the time of this profile, the pecan crop has become the focus of  Shepherd Farms’ business. Their farm store is still open in the fall to sell pecans and other farm-related items.