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Field Manipulation for Naturalized Animal Husbandry

Michael Culbertson

Modern silvopasture is a similar practice with important differences. It is a scientific management practice using new technology and scientific understanding of biological processes like succession and soil science (Gabriel, 2018). It usually involves a pasture based system with wire fencing, intensive rotational grazing, artificial sapling protection, and trees for shade/shelter, fodder (fruits, nuts, leaves, young branches, etc.), and secondary harvests (fruits, nuts, mushrooms, timber, etc.) (Id.). However, running animals under trees has been practiced across the globe for many years (Smith, 1929). This practice warrants further investigation for adoption in New England (Orefice, 2017). This project explores wild or naturalized elements of keeping animals in forest areas. This therefore falls outside of the definition of true silvopasture. However, it may contribute interesting results to current discussion, understandings, and practices.


This may qualify for AFRP Sustainable Agricultural Systems Program support for “visionary applications that take a systems approach, and that significantly improve the supply of abundant, affordable, safe, nutritious, and accessible food, while providing sustainable opportunities for expansion of the bioeconomy….” (National Agroforestry Center, 2018, p. 13).


Potential Benefits:

  • Further understanding of the interaction between silvopasture practices and broader ecological elements.

  • More affordable, sustainable, long-term harvest with beneficial ecological impacts.

  • Further productive or supplemental use of marginal land and forest areas.


Further information on design, implementation, and discussion available upon request.


Gabriel, S. (2018). Silvopasture: A guide to managing grazing animals, forage crops, and trees in a temperate farm ecosystem. Chelsea Green Publishing.

National Agroforestry Center. (2018). Guide to USDA Agroforestry Research Funding Opportunities. United States Department of Agriculture.

Orefice, J., Carroll, J., Conroy, D. Ketner, L. (2017). Silvopasture practices and perspectives in the Northeastern United States. Agroforestry Systems, 91(1), pp. 149–160.

Smith, J. R. (1929). Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture. Harcourt Brace.

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