Associate Professor and Extension Specialist John Munsell has been awarded a total of $1.4 million to expand uses of agroforestry to enhance farm and forest production while achieving strategic conservation goals. Many practices fall under the broad category of agroforestry, which is the integration of trees into agricultural systems. The trees can be managed for timber, livestock fodder, fruits, nuts, florals, and more, offering landowners opportunities to produce marketable forest products in addition to agricultural products.

The projects and funding represent a wide range of federal, state, and local agencies and organizations. Munsell received over $560,000 to support a public-private partnership that will work to integrate agroforestry practices into Virginia’s water quality trading program and demonstrate and evaluate associated practices. “The objective is to increase tree-based nutrient offset opportunities on farmland in Virginia’s region of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and beyond,” he explained.

He also received over $880,000 to support initiatives that include citizen science 2.0, management based on traditional ecological knowledge, and geodesign techniques and high performance computer simulation to promote precision forest farming. “The overarching aim of the work is to expand the cultivation and conservation of nontimber forest products and to prepare forest farmers to supply verified and organic forest-grown raw materials to nutraceutical and herbal product industries,” Munsell emphasized.

Read the full press release.