Agroforestry Farmer Profiles
Jim and Kari Miller experienced increased yields of wheat and milo after installing windbreaks on their farm southwest of Hoisington, KS.
Paul Huenfeld is a Nebraska organic farmer that installed windbreaks because he needed buffers around the farm. He also values the importance of habitat for the insects and predators.
Claud Launius is a retired cotton farmer that installed windbreaks on an 80-acre field in 1989 to protect small cotton plants from wind and sand. His yields increased a half-bale per acre or more because the plants weren’t getting damaged. Since Claud retired he has rented his land out and the tenant keeps up the windbreaks.
Ron Strum grows corn and soybeans on his 1,000 acre farm in Story County, IA. Since installing a riparian buffer, he no longer loses crops during wet years and he no longer gets his tractor stuck.
Ron Risdal – In 1990 corn, soybean, and alfalfa farmer Ron Risdal planted a riparian buffer on his farm in Story County Iowa. Ron says “I don't think we've lost hardly any stream bank since 1993, where before, we were moving the fences about every year. When it floods, the water stops at the buffer strip now instead of washing all over the bank. We don’t have to move fences every year, and we don’t have to haul rocks in the gullies like we used to do years ago.”
Early Boots Farm is a grass-fed and finished beef farm. Oak and pine saplings are planted on Tyler Carlson’s 20 acres of old crop fields in Sauk Centre, MN to optimize the pasture microclimate, to reduce livestock stress, and for future timber sales.
CLC Practices: Agroforestry, Perennial Forage
Norm and Mary Erickson grow hazelnuts in Lake City, MN for food and biodiesel fuel. They use cover crops in the aisles to suppress weeds and reduce erosion. http://www.mccc.msu.edu/states/MN_farmers.html
CLC Practices: Agroforestry, Cover Crops
Shepherd Farms, a 2300-acre operation in Clifton Hills, MO produces bison, pecans, native grass seed, corn & soybeans; emphasis on direct marketing. http://maawg.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/shepherd-case-study-1.pdf
CLC Practices: Agroforestry, Perennial Forage
Red Fern Farm – Tom Wahl grows fruit, berries, nuts, container-grown seedlings and medicinal planting roots near Wapello, Iowa. Chestnuts are one of the farm’s most profitable crops. Tom is also a chestnut broker for other growers in the area.
East Grove Farm – Timber covers almost half of East Grove Farm’s 800 total acres in southeast Iowa. Kurt Garretson has 5 acres planted in Elderberries with plans to expand and become certified organic. Also in the works are plans for a winery with a focus on farm-related ecotourism.
Dennis Gibson raises hybrid hazelnuts, hybrid poplars, sea berry, Saskatoons, hickory, honeysuckle, mountain ash, and more on his Montevideo, MN farm.
CLC Practices: Agroforestry, Biomass
Hoch Orchard and Gardens – The Hoch family is putting selected species of animals into the orchards and gardens to complete the natural cycling of nutrients on their La Crescent, MN farm. They are trying to adapt a multispecies pasture stacking system that will fit with their perennial fruit production. Specific species will be used at certain times for example: hogs will graze orchards during natural thinning in June, geese will weed the strawberry plants after harvest during the summer months, chickens will run in the strawberries during bloom to eat tarnished plant bugs, and hogs will clean apple drops after harvest.
CLC Practices: Agroforestry,Perennial Forage
New Forest Farm is Mark Shepard’s 106 acre perennial permaculture farm in the Driftless Area of Southwestern Wisconsin. Produce includes chestnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, apples, asparagus, and many other perennial fruits and nuts. Cattle, pigs, chickens, and turkeys are also raised on the farm.
CLC Practices: Agroforestry, Perennial Forage.
Larry and Nancy Turner have more than 1700 aronia bushes on their farm, Winding Creek, in Blemond, IA. In 2013 they harvested 14,400 pounds of berries. Sold wholesale, the aronia berries can bring annual gross revenue of $2300 - $6500 per acre, and even more when marketed directly.
Bill and Geri Hanson have been growing black walnuts on their Centerville, IA farm since the early 1980’s. They harvest 1500 to 2000lbs per acre during full production years.
John and Betty Wittrig grow up to 6000 pounds of organic chestnuts on their 4.5 acre Winfield, IA farm every year. The nuts are sold for $6/lb and they sell the entire crop every year.
Mark Fisher of Clear Lake, IA grows Christmas trees on his 20 acres that he originally purchased for hunting.
Paul Otten grows Elderberries at Natura Farms in Scanidia, MN. He sells the berries direct or to wine and supplement manufacturers. He also sells plant plugs to growers.
Roger and Jeff Hanson grow and study hazelnuts on their farm, Hazel Acres, in Fenton, IA. Hazelnuts can be sold direct in the shell or roasted. Hazelnut oil is almost identical to olive oil and makes a superior biodiesel.