It is estimated that there are over 600,000 acres of unmanaged woodland grazing in Minnesota. These woodlands need to be managed to protect soil, water, vegetation and tree resources. Silvopasture—the deliberate integration of trees and grazing livestock operations on the same land—may be an appropriate management option for some landowners. These systems are intensively managed for livestock, forest products and forage, providing both short and long-term income sources.
Researchers are especially interested in the use of silvopasture as a method for restoring degraded oak savanna. This workshop will give attendees a chance to see this restoration in action at Minneopa State Park. Land managers at Minneopa are using controlled burns and bison grazing to restore oak savanna.
- 8:30 a.m. - Registration at Greater Mankato Business Development Center
- 9:00 - Silvopasture Learning Network (Theresa Keaveny, Sustainable Farming Association)
- 9:30 - Basics of Silvopasture (Gary Wyatt, UMN Extension)
- 10:00 - Farmer Silvopasture Story - Tools and Resources (Tyler Carlson, Sustainable Farming Association)
- 10:45 - NRCS and EQIP funds for Silvopasture (Callie Bertsch, NRCS)
- 11:15 - Oak Savannas History and Restoration in Minnesota (Dr. Rebecca Montgomery, UMN Department of Forest Resources)
- 12:00 p.m. - Lunch (box lunch provided for registered attendees)
- 1:15 - Reconvene at Minneopa State Park
- 1:30 - Managing Oak Savanna with Bison and Fire (Molly Tranel Nelson, MN DNR)
- 2:30 - Bison at Minneopa (Scott Kudelka, MN DNR)
The intended audience of this workshop is conservation professionals, farmers, landowners and others interested in silvopasture and oak savanna restoration.
Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).