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Promoting Agro forestry Practices for Limited Resource Small Farmers and Woodland Owners in North Carolina

Limited resource small farmers and woodland owners (SFWOs) in the south are plagued with problems that affect their efforts to compete. Many SFWOs lack farming and forestry training, making their land less productive. The purpose of this study is to: advance the public’s knowledge for agriculture and the environment; support economic opportunities for rural America; and train Extension educators to train farmers how to protect the environment. The overall goal is to encourage SFWOs to adopt the use of agroforestry practices to enhance their economic stability and better manage their natural resources. The activities being carried out to meet the goals include: developing an agroforestry curriculum; b) establishing demonstration sites to teach agroforestry; and c) strengthening partnerships with local, state and federal entities. The project partners with a local Cooperative Extension office and secondary agriculture teachers and their students to educate them on the use and benefits of agroforestry. There are three farmers currently receiving training. The preliminary findings: SFWOs are receptive to learning and implementing agroforestry practices to better their operations. The researchers will continue to deliver involve more stakeholders and educate secondary and postsecondary students about the benefits of studying food and agricultural sciences and natural resources.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

This technology is supported in part by New Technologies for Agriculture Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and membership funding. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the content are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, please visit extension.org. You can view the terms of useat extension.org/terms.

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