The first (but not last) Northeastern Silvopasture Conference occurred November 7-8, 2011 in Watkins Glen, NY; it was hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County.  The conference was fully successful in its intent of bringing together the types of people who would be important in the silvopasture discussion and forming some ideas for how to share the opportunities of silvopasture with those who would benefit from what it offers.  The types of people attending the conference included livestock producers, forester owners, foresters, Cooperative Extension educators and specialists, NRCS county, state, and national specialists, Cornell University students and academic researchers. 


The conference started with two case studies that describe using livestock in the woods, and the interactions of livestock and forest vegetation.  The afternoon of the first day focused on the experiences of a stellar team of research and extension specialists from the University of Missouri's Center for Agroforestry Research.  The team of Drs. Garrett, Walter, and Godsey addressed silvopasture establishment, economic benefits of silvopasture operations, and the ecosystem benefits of agroforestry practices and silvopasture.  The second day the conference looked at the grazing awareness that tree people would need and the tree awareness that the grazing people would need.  The morning concluded with an overview of land use suitabilities and available resources.  The key and recurring message was that silvopasture necessarily assumes that the animals are managed intensively and deliberately through a rotational grazing configuration of paddocks.  The (unfortunate) tradition of continuous grazing is inconsistent with silvopasture and may degrade pasture conditions.  The afternoon session moved to Angus Glen Farm just west of Watkins Glen for a walk and talk about livestock and trees.  One highlight of the walk (for me at least) was the chance to see a nimble skidsteer sized machine with a Fecon rotary cutter head creating new silvopasture in an established conifer plantation.  (see pictures and video links below)


The potential for silvopasture for some livestock operations in the Northeast seems significant and compelling based on the experiences documented in Missouri and the experiences of some producers who are using silvopasture systems in NY and the Northeast.  There are plenty of questions (e.g., how to best regenerate the forest during silvopasture; how to balance the forage and invasive characteristics of some plants; what financial models describe different applications of silvopasture; and others).  That not withstanding, the cost:benefit ratio for especially meat production operations seems sufficiently favorable to warrant more attention.


The presenters all agreed to share pdf files of their presentations.  Those will be posted (or linked) in the agroforestry section of the publications at the ForestConnect home page.  Stay tuned here (and maybe a new silvopasture site) for more details and connectivity.


Here is a link to the Northeastern Silvopasture Guide

Here is a link to the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri




Sponsors of the conference included:

National Agroforestry Center

Natural Resources Conservation Service

NY Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative

US Forest Service

Cornell University ForestConnect / Renewable Resources Extension

Penn  State Cooperative Extension

Finger Lakes Sustainable Farming Center

Cornell Small Farms Program

Finger Lakes RC & D Council

Upper Susquehanna Coalition


Picture.  Group talking trees and livestock.

Picture 1.  Some of the Angus on Angus Glen Farm.

Picture 2.  More livestock from Angus Glen Farm. Sheep and goats enjoying multiflora rose.


Picture 3. The Fecon in action.

Picture 4.  Pigs from Forks Farm in Bloomsburg, PA (owner John Hopkins hosted a workshop in June 2011 and spoke at the November conference in Watkins Glen.  These are, as I recall, breeding sows and boars in a resting area.

Views: 1092

Comment by Dave Jacke on December 3, 2011 at 3:02pm

Peter, wondering when the presentations form the NE Silvopasture Conference will be up--I need some of the references people gave in their talks!  I've looked around on this site, and have not found them.  Let us (me) know where things stand on that, please!

Rock on sir!


Comment by Peter Smallidge on December 5, 2011 at 10:39pm

Hi Dave:

The conference proceedings are posted in the publications section of  All the presentations were saved as pdfs and can be viewed or downloaded.



You need to be a member of CornellForestConnect to add comments!

Join CornellForestConnect


How long do brush cutter blades work?

Started by Joanne Vaughn in Woodlot Management on Monday. 0 Replies

I dunno maybe it's because time flies when it's multiflora rose and buckthorns that are getting whacked. It seems that these blades are needing retirement after 8 or so hours.   Is this typical for this type of material. WIde range of material but…Continue

Tags: cutter, brush

Nitrogen fixing bacteria for Alder trees

Started by Joanne Vaughn in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Joanne Vaughn on Friday. 7 Replies

I am thinking of starting some alder trees from seed for planting into an area that does not and has not hosted alders.  How can I gain the nitrogen fixing bacteria for inoculation of the roots ?  Continue

Seeking advice on controlling oriental bittersweet

Started by Kristen Whitbeck in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Lew Ward Apr 15. 2 Replies

A student in my silviculture class is seeking relayed the scenario below. If anyone has any tips or tricks I will gladly pass them along. Thanks in advance!"Oriental bittersweet is choking out my mature white pine trees and my mature apple trees.…Continue

Tags: bittersweet, Oriental

Are Gall's a reason to cull Hickory trees?

Started by Thomas Wilson in Forest Health. Last reply by Ron Goodger Apr 7. 8 Replies

I'll take a photo, but in the meantime....I have a lot of bitternut hickory and some shagbark as well.  I haven't yet noticed any on the shagbark, but about half of the bitternut have gall's.  They get up to about 3 inches in diameter.  Some tree's…Continue

Removal of grass around seedlings in pasture

Started by Joanne Vaughn in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Peter Smallidge Mar 19. 11 Replies

Even after the timely discussion of "green lie" this week, I am still unsure of the best method to eliminate grassy vegetation around the pine, cedar and oak seedlings we are putting in this spring. I feel this is very important because we lost a…Continue

Saving Trees With Tree-Eating Mushrooms

Started by Lew Ward in Forest Health Feb 27. 0 Replies

Saving Trees With Tree-Eating MushroomsControl of Amellaria Shoe-string Rot Fungus

Electric Fencing

Started by Carl DuPoldt in Agroforestry Jan 21. 0 Replies

Electric Deer Fence WorkshopLuke Freeman hosted a workshop at the incubator farm in Fayetteville, AR to demonstrate the use of the solar-powered electric deer fence. Luke built the fence with help from Extension specialist Kenny Simon and County…Continue

Beech control with triclopyr versus glyphosate

Started by Peter Smallidge in Woodlot Management. Last reply by Joanne Vaughn Nov 20, 2019. 3 Replies

[I'm pasting from a recent email thread]Question - I'm working on a couple beech regen and mid story control projects.   I have been using Garlon 4 in oil.   Works good, but sometimes I want it to move through the roots and the Garlon doesn't do…Continue



© 2020   Created by Peter Smallidge.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service