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USDA's Role in Agroforestry

Agroforestry practices help accomplish many goals in the USDA Strategic Plan (PDF, 1.8 MB), including:

  • Job and entrepreneur creation;
  • Bioenergy production;
  • Resilience to floods, droughts, and other effects of climate change;
  • Local and regional food system development;
  • Carbon sequestration;
  • Clean and abundant water; and the
  • Economic revitalization of rural communities.

Agroforestry Strategic Framework

Committed to advancing agroforestry as a way to enhance the nation's economy as well as its agricultural landscapes, watersheds, and communities, Secretary Vilsack released the USDA Agroforestry Strategic Framework (PDF, 886 KB) in June 2011. Created with input from a broad diversity of stakeholders, the Strategic Framework provides a roadmap for advancing agroforestry through the following three goals, which are reinforced in the USDA Policy for Agroforestry:

  • Adoption - Assisting producers who wish to implement agroforestry practices on their land.
  • Science - Supporting scientists to research agroforestry production systems and measure their impacts on economic, environmental, and social outcomes.
  • Integration - Integrating agroforestry more thoroughly into USDA policies and programs - from research projects to farm loans to conservation programs and more.

Agroforestry Results

Following the roadmap laid out in the Strategic Framework, USDA is working in many ways to advance agroforestry in the United States. The report, Agroforestry: USDA Reports to America - Comprehensive Version (PDF, 7.0 MB) provides information from 2011 and 2012 on USDA's support for agroforestry told through case studies of farmers and woodland owners using agroforestry practices. A shorter version is available here: Agroforestry: USDA Reports to America - in brief (PDF, 18.7 MB).

Agroforestry Executive Steering Committee

The Agroforestry Executive Steering Committee (AESC) guides the agroforestry activities across the Department to implement the Strategic Framework. The AESC is comprised of representatives from eight USDA agencies: