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Agroforestry in the Southwest, It’s Growing!

  • May 10, 2022
  • May 12, 2022
  • Moab, Utah


  • People from Utah Permaculture School

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Southwest Agroforestry Action Network

2nd Annual Conference

Agroforestry in the Southwest, It’s Growing!

Southwest Agroforestry Challenges and Best Practice Solutions

In person and virtual options!

WHEN: May 10-12, 2022

WHERE: Moab, Utah (or Via Zoom on May 10)

CEUs: ISA CEUs approved. Society of American Foresters CFEs approved. Am. Society of Agronomy CEUs approved

Download the agenda at this link


Tuesday, May 10, Presentations

8:00 - 8:30

Registration, networking, check-in with virtual participants

8:30 – 9:00  

Steven Price, SWAAN Chair and Assistant Professor, Utah State University Extension - Carbon County

An Introduction to SWAAN and Agroforestry in the Southwest

Founded in June 2019 at a meeting of 30 agroforestry enthusiasts and other natural resource professionals/conservationists in Farmington, New Mexico, the Southwest Agroforestry Action Network (SWAAN) mission is “helping people integrate trees, crops, and animals to regenerate Southwest landscapes.” SWAAN recognizes a broad scope of agroforestry practitioners and practices: Indigenous peoples; settlers on Spanish & Mexican Land Grants; permaculturists; “food forests” in community/urban areas; and agricultural producers who apply the five traditional USDA practices (alley cropping, forest farming/multi-story cropping, riparian forest buffers, silvopasture, and windbreaks/shelterbelts). SWAAN’s geographic scope is very broad too, including private, tribal, federal, county, and municipal lands in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

9:00 – 9:30     

Rich Straight, Technology Transfer Leader, Forest Service, USDA National Agroforestry Ctr., Lincoln, NE

The National Agroforestry Center and highlights from regional agroforestry groups around the U.S.

In this presentation, Rich will share information about recent efforts by the National Agroforestry Center to advance agroforestry nationwide, including lessons learned from the Census of Agriculture, new approaches to outreach and education, and efforts to integrate agroforestry into USDA programs. He will also share projects and other work by other regional groups that may provide insights for SWAAN into possible directions and opportunities.

9:30 – 10:00   

Will Murray, Resource Conservationist, Monticello Field Office, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Monticello, UT

NRCS assistance with agroforestry and forestry practices in Utah

The presentation will focus on the forestry practices involved with managing forest stands, the resource concerns that applied practices are expected to address, a short explanation of the NRCS application/contracting process, and the cost-share rates that NRCS pays clients for completed forestry practices.

10:00 – 10:15 BREAK

10:15 – 11:00

Kat Alicia Thompson, Regenerative Farmer

Edible Landscaping from an Indigenous Perspective

This presentation will provide examples of ancestral and current Indigenous farming practices that have sustained communities and cultures in the Southwest for thousands of years. These agricultural practices can revitalize a local landscape into an edible landscape that is reflective of our bioregion and our diets.  This includes exploring traditional uses of native plants and trees, and how to utilize them in a local food system. 

11:00– 11:45  Kelly Bull, Permaculture Landscape Designer and Educator, Colorado Springs, CO, 

Mind Your Microbes: Permaculture Design for Optimal Soil Health

The biology in our soil has the power to transform soil health by improving structure, nutrient availability, and water holding capacity. Inextricably linked, plant health depends on the biodiversity of microorganisms and microorganisms depend on the biodiversity of plants. Learn how we can best support the life above the soil by supporting the life below it. 

11:45 – 12:00

Dr. James Allen, Professor, School of Forestry, College of the Environment, Forestry and Natural Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ

Closing thoughts from our morning session

12:00 – 1:00 LUNCH AND NETWORKING (Lunch is provided)

1:00– 1:45      

Leah Potter-Weight, Education and Outreach Project Manager, Quivira Coalition, Santa Fe, NM

Collaborative agroforestry and silvopasture initiatives in the Southwest

Agroforestry has long been a cornerstone of Indigenous land management in the Southwest. The term agroforestry is relatively new, and while many individuals and communities may practice it in the Southwest, not everyone calls it agroforestry, and there is relatively little public information or data about it. The Quivira Coalition has been partnering with SWAAN Taos Pueblo DNR; Trees, Water & People and more on a couple different agroforestry initiatives in the Southwest that aim to stimulate conversation, networking, outreach and information sharing, with a focus on the Indigenous agroforestry history and current Indigenous agroforestry projects. 

1:45 - 2:30      

Jeff Adams, Permaculture and Watershed Restoration Practitioner, TerraSophia LLC, Moab, UT

Forest gardens, permaculture, and integrated water harvesting in Moab, UT

This presentation will explore the intersection of forest gardening and water harvesting, including examples of how these techniques have been incorporated into a variety of public and private landscaping settings. An emphasis will be placed on multi-functional tree selection, placement, and management as an essential component of resilient and productive landscapes.

2:30 – 3:15     

Denise Devynck, Founder, Director of Permaculture Design School, PDC Permaculture Inst., BSW BYU

Utah Valley Permaculture Classroom Gardens & Greenhouse School Ecosystem Restoration 

Permaculture Food Forest Design is a Tree Based system, with Canopy and Understory Trees in each design. Trees create the filtered light helping other plants beneath grow more comfortably, they also contain the Bacteria that help with Rain creation. 

3:15 – 3:30 BREAK

3:30 – 4:15   

Chris Jones, Cooperative Extension, Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Arizona, Globe, AZ

Community Heritage Apple Tree Orchard with the City of Payson, AZ

Heritage Apple Tree Orchard. Arizona TV personality, Dave Owens, aka the Garden Guy, worked with the City of Payson to install an apple tree orchard in a central city-owned location. University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners led by Extension Agent Chris Jones wrote a newspaper about the orchard and requested property owners to share scion material from heritage apples trees. Scions from eight different nearby ranches and properties were gathered and grafted to the orchard seedlings by volunteers. Many grafts were successful despite drought conditions. The Extension volunteers and City will continue to care for the trees until they are large enough to open the orchard to the community for picnics and other events.

4:15 – 4:45     

Steve Price, SWAAN Chair  

Facilitated group discussion of this afternoon’s session and agroforestry potential in the Southwest

4:45 – 5:00 BREAK

5:00 – 7:00

Poster Session with light appetizers and beverages

All are welcome to present posters, meet and greet. Please submit your poster proposal:

Wednesday, May 11, Field tour

Meet 8:00am at Springhill/Fairfield hotel parking lot (carpool to sites in Castle Valley/Moab)

9:00 – 10:30

Pam Hackey, Castle Valley landowner

Establishing a home-scale food forest

10:30 – 11:30

Eric Secrist, Castle Valley landowner

Dual use trees and silvopasture in a remnant historical orchard

11:30 – 12:30

Kara Dohrenwend, Rim-to-rim Restoration & Wildland Scapes

Mulberry Native Plant Propagation Center

12:30 – 1:00

Lunch at Rocky Rapid Ramp or Big Bend C.G.

1:00 – 2:00

Dr. Roslynn Brain McCann, USU Extension Sustainable Communities Specialist

BEE Inspired Gardens – Community supported permaculture landscapes

USU Downtown Campus

2:00 – 3:00

Dr. Roslynn Brain McCann, USU Extension Sustainable Communities Specialist

BEE Inspired Gardens – Community supported permaculture landscapes

Rotary Park

3:00 – 4:00

Emily Roberson, YGP Executive Director

Youth Garden Project

Thursday, May 12, SWAAN Business Meeting

Physical location: Springhill Suites Moab, 1865 N. Hwy 191, Moab, UT 84532

9:00 – 12:00   

Meeting will be facilitated by Steve Price (Chair) and Andy Mason (Secretary). A virtual meeting link will be established to allow people to participate remotely. All conference participants are invited to attend in-person or remotely.  Topics include:

  • ·       2022 quarterly programs and potential date/time change
  • ·       2023 in-person meeting
  • ·       SWAAN leadership changes
  • ·       Proposal by Dennis Garrity regarding “EverGreening the Earth Campaign”


  • Agricultural producers, Tribes, ranchers, community gardeners and orchardists, permaculturists, water harvesters, and others who produce food for themselves;
  • Representatives of government agencies, cooperative extension, universities, and nonprofit organizations who support sustainable solutions for agriculture, forestry, and communities through their programs; and
  • People interested in community food forests and forest-agricultural activities including alley cropping, forest farming, riparian forest buffers, silvopasture, windbreaks, and shelterbelts.

Conference Hotel

Special-Rate Conference hotel is SpringHill Suites Moab. 

Our negotiated block rate for the conference includes queen suites for $209 at the Springhill and $199 for the Fairfield.  Book through this link to receive the discounted rate:  Book Hotel Now.

For more info on the hotel and venue, click here.

For additional information about the conference, please contact:

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