Sharing Success in Agroforestry
Forest farming plays an important role as we move beyond resource extraction-based economies. It can provide supplementary or primary livelihoods rooted in diverse, meaningful, and multigenerational cultural heritages. Sharing Successes in Agroforestry (SSIA) values this practice, the local knowledge that sustains it, and being ecologically tuned-in to the landscape.
The goal of this project is to provide educational materials for farmers, potential farmers, and professionals who support the efforts of new farmers pursuing a model of agroforestry (such as agricultural extension agents, non-profits, and scholars in related areas). These materials include short videos, scenarios, and case studies. They describe the ways in which native Appalachian forests can provide diversified livelihoods, food, livestock, botanical, herbs, syrups, and other non-timber as well as timber products through sustainable management. These educational materials are designed using participatory methods, and overseen by a group of people with a variety of roles and interests: local farmers, practitioners, and scholars.
The intent is to inspire young and beginning agroforesters to start farming as well as to create products that will help them get started through the highlighting of successful practices. Deliverables include short case studies, videos, and technical scenarios each with slightly different audiences and aims towards the overall goals of the project.
SSIA is a collaboration between LiKEN, Virginia Tech, West Virginia University, Ohio State University Center for Folklore Studies, a community of Appalachian Forest farmers, and is funded by the National Agroforestry Center of the US Forest Service. Our primary service areas are the historic coal regions of OH, KY, TN, VA, WV and highly rural and low wealth agricultural counties throughout Appalachia.
Lead researchers on the project included Tom Hammett (Virginia Tech), Mary Hufford (Ohio State University), and Chrissa Mae Kallal (West Virginia University).