The University of Minnesota Extension, UW-Extension, the Wallace Center Pasture Project and the Savanna Institute will jointly host a silvopasture workshop later this summer.
The workshop will begin Friday afternoon, Aug. 3, with a tour of a Nettle Valley Farm near Spring Grove, Minn., followed by dinner and a presentation and networking session at Willow Creek Ranch in Coon Valley. The workshop will continue Saturday morning, Aug. 4, with presentations and small-group exercises on silvopasture design and management. Saturday afternoon will feature a tour of Willow Creek Ranch’s savanna restoration and silvopasture efforts.
Nettle Valley Farm rotates pastured pigs through pine and walnut plantations and is converting woodland to create additional areas for the pigs to forage and access shade. Willow Creek Ranch raises beef, pork and poultry on pasture and is integrating the livestock into savanna restoration efforts.
Silvopasture is a sustainable agroforestry practice in which trees and forage crops are grown together on the same piece of land, and grazing animals eat the forages. The livestock provide annual income, and the trees may provide income after a while in the form of wood, nuts or other products. Silvopasture can provide economic and environmental benefits that complement regular forestry and open pasture production, such as shade for livestock and pasture and habitat for birds and beneficial insects.
Participants can sign up for either day or both days. For more information, call Diomy Zamora at 612-626-9272 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Keefe Keeley at email@example.com or 608-632-2719; or Diane Mayerfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-262-8188.