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Trees Forever Offers Agroforestry Workshop in May

Session at Indian Hills Community College for farmers and others

CENTERVILLE (April 10, 2014) - Aronia berries, chestnuts, black walnuts and other specialty crops can do more than provide extra income for farmers. These plants and others can benefit the environment by reducing sedimentation and pollution to Iowa waters. An upcoming workshop hosted by Trees Forever will introduce property owners and natural resource professionals to the benefits of agroforestry practices, including perennial crops and more.

Participants in the workshop will learn about agroforestry - the intentional integration of trees and shrubs into crop and livestock enterprises - and will have the opportunity to learn from several Iowa Nut Growers Association members, including Bill Hanson, Tom Wahl and Jeff Jensen, a field coordinator for Trees Forever. The event will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 8 on the campus of Indian Hills Community College in Centerville.

Topics include: alley cropping, or growing annuals and other crops between rows of trees; silvopasture, which involves grazing animals in forested areas or orchards; and riparian forest buffers - trees and shrubs planted next to streams and rivers - and other agroforestry practices. "By incorporating perennial crops into these practices we can get the ecological benefits we want while harvesting nuts and berries for income," Jensen said, adding that the practices help farmers and municipalities meet the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous from entering surface waters.

Brydon Kaster, Sustainable Ag Program Coordinator for Indian Hills Community College, noted that the Iowa Nut Growers Association has a research planting at the college. "We will be touring it in the afternoon so attendees can see firsthand how some of these nut and berry crops are grown," he said.

* What: Trees Forever Agroforestry Workshop
* When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 8
* Where: Indian Hills Community College in Centerville
* Cost: $30 to cover materials and lunch

Workshop partners include Mid-American Agroforestry Working Group, National Agroforestry Center, Indian Hills Community College and the Iowa Nut Growers Association.

Pre-registration is required. Please RSVP by Monday, May 5 by registering online at For more information on the agroforestry workshop or other Trees Forever programs, contact Jeff Jensen at 515-320-6756 or

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Trees Forever is a nonprofit organization based in Marion, IA committed to planting trees, encouraging community involvement and stewardship, and caring for the environment. Programs focus on improving air and water quality, increasing wildlife habitat, providing substantial energy savings and beautifying our landscape. For more information visit or call 800-369-1269.

Jeff Jensen




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