What is silvopasture? Silvopasture is the managed integration of trees, livestock, and grazing land. Silvopasture offers multiple benefits to livestock producers, including shade, increased feed sources and decreased reliance on hay, increased farm revenue from added crops like fruits and nuts, increased animal average daily gains, improved animal health, carbon sequestration and better wildlife habitat. In the words of ecologist, author, and educator Steve Gabriel, “The foundational concepts of silvopasture challenge our notions of modern agriculture and land use as we know it. For centuries European colonizers of North America have engaged in practices that separate the field from the forest, and even the food from the animal. In silvopasture, trees, animals, and forages for those animals are integrated as a whole system that is greater than just the sum of these parts.”
Interested in learning more? Check out Rural Action’s presentation at the 2023 OEFFA Conference on an overview of silvopasture and forest farming practices.
Interested in implementing silvopasture on your farm? Check out the Catalyzing Agroforestry Grant Program to apply for a mini-grant to get started.