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Open AccessArticle

Multi-Party Agroforestry: Emergent Approaches to Trees and Tenure on Farms in the Midwest USA

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Savanna Institute, Madison, WI 53715, USA
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Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
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Farm Commons, Duluth, MN 55803, USA
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Greenhorns, Pembroke, ME 04666, USA
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Agrarian Trust, Weare, NH 03281, USA
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Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
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Land Tenure Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(8), 2449; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11082449
Received: 29 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 19 April 2019 / Published: 25 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agroforestry Systems)
Agroforestry represents a solution to land degradation by agriculture, but social barriers to wider application of agroforestry persist. More than half of all cropland in the USA is leased rather than owner-operated, and the short terms of most leases preclude agroforestry. Given insufficient research on tenure models appropriate for agroforestry in the USA, the primary objective of this study was to identify examples of farmers practicing agroforestry on land they do not own. We conducted interviews with these farmers, and, in several cases, with landowners, in order to document their tenure arrangements. In some cases, additional parties also played a role, such as farmland investors, a farmer operating an integrated enterprise, and non-profit organizations or public agencies. Our findings include eleven case studies involving diverse entities and forms of cooperation in multi-party agroforestry (MA). MA generally emerged from shared objectives and intensive planning. MA appears to be adaptable to private, investor, institutional, and public landowners, as well as beginning farmers and others seeking land access without ownership. We identify limitations and strategies for further research and development of MA. View Full-Text
Keywords: land tenure; land-use change; beginning farmers; private land conservation; case study; alley cropping; silvoarable; silvopasture; windbreak; human dimensions land tenure; land-use change; beginning farmers; private land conservation; case study; alley cropping; silvoarable; silvopasture; windbreak; human dimensions
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Keeley, K.O.; Wolz, K.J.; Adams, K.I.; Richards, J.H.; Hannum, E.; von Tscharner Fleming, S.; Ventura, S.J. Multi-Party Agroforestry: Emergent Approaches to Trees and Tenure on Farms in the Midwest USA. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2449.

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