Agroforestry Systems

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 345–353 | Cite as

Targeting educational needs based on natural resource professionals’ familiarity, learning, and perceptions of silvopasture in the southeastern U.S.

  • Emily Stutzman
  • Rebecca Jo BarlowEmail author
  • Wayde Morse
  • Dale Monks
  • Larry Teeter


Natural Resource Professionals (NRPs) are commonly regarded as the front lines of agriculture and forest management innovations, including silvopasture, an agroforestry practice. Yet, as silvopasture is a departure from more traditional land management practices, many NRPs may not have the expertise or training to help landowners make informed decisions. Targeted training of professionals may prove beneficial. Through a web survey of NRPs with cooperative extension, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), state forestry services, and private foresters in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Florida, we found that 64% of respondents are “somewhat” or “very familiar” with silvopasture and 54% have participated in a silvopasture field day. Rates of silvopasture training were highest for NRPs in the NRCS (78%) lowest for registered foresters (29%) (p < .001 Chi square = 55.367) and highest in Alabama (67%) and Mississippi (63%), and lowest in Georgia (41%) (p < .01). Perceptions of the physiographic suitability for silvopasture were lowest in Mississippi (p = .02; test statistic 14.632; DF = 3). The state forestry service NRPs and NRPs in Mississippi and Georgia present strong opportunities for education regarding silvopasture.


Agroforestry adoption Outreach education Web survey 


  1. Berg BL (2009) Qualitative research methods for the social sciences. Allyn & Bacon, Boston, p 418Google Scholar
  2. Butler BJ (2008) Family forest owners of the United States, 2006. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Newtown SquareCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chambers R, Conway G (1991) Sustainable rural livelihoods: practical concepts for the 21st century. Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Accessed 16 April 2018
  4. Cubbage F, Balmelli G, Bussoni A et al (2012) Comparing silvopastoral systems and prospects in eight regions of the world. Agrofor Syst 86:303–314. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dillman DA, Smyth Jolene D, Christian LM, Dillman DA (2009) Internet, mail, and mixed-mode surveys: the tailored design method. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  6. Dyer JAF (2012) Three essays on pine straw in alabama: needlefall yields, market demands, and landowner interest in harvesting. Auburn University, AuburnGoogle Scholar
  7. Emery M, Flora C (2006) Spiraling-up: mapping community transformation with community capitals framework. Community Dev 37:19–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Flora CB, Flora JL, Gasteyer SP (2015) Rural communities: legacy + change, 5th edn. Westveiw Press, Boulder, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  9. Gold MA, Hanover JW (1987) Agroforestry systems for the temperate zone. Agrofor Syst 5:109–121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Grado SC, Hovermale CH, St Louis DG (2001) A financial analysis of a silvopasture system in southern Mississippi. Agrofor Syst 53:313–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gwin L (2009) Scaling-up sustainable livestock production: innovation and challenges for grass-fed beef in the U.S. J Sustain Agric 33:189–209. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hamilton J (ed) (2008) Silvopasture: establishment and management principles for pine forests in the Southeastern United States. USDA National Agroforestry Center, Lincoln, NebraskaGoogle Scholar
  13. IBM SPSS (2013) Statistics for windows. IBM Corp, ArmonkGoogle Scholar
  14. Karki U, Idassi J, Mentreddy SR, Gurung N, Karki L, Bambo S, Christian S (2016) Agroforestry research and extension education at 1890 universities and its impact in the Southeast. Agrofor Syst 90:715–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lawrence JH, Hardesty LH (1992) Mapping the territory: agroforestry awareness among Washington State land managers. Agrofor Syst 19:27–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lawrence JH, Hardesty LH, Chapman RC, Gill SJ (1992) Agroforestry practices of non-industrial private forest landowners in Washington State. Agrofor Syst 19:37–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mayerfield D, Rickenbach M, Rissman A (2016) Overcoming history: attitudes of resource professionals and farmers toward silvopasture in southwest Wisconsin. Agrofor Syst 90:723–736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pattanayak SK, Mercer DE, Sills E, Yang J-C (2003) Taking stock of agroforestry adoption studies. Agrofor Syst 57:173–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. QSR International (2014) NVivo qualitative data analysis software. QSR International Pty Ltd, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  20. Qualtrics (2014) Qualtrics. Provo, UtahGoogle Scholar
  21. Rogers EM (2003) Diffusion of innovations, 5th edn. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Rogers E, Ban A (1963) Research on the diffusion of agricultural innovations in the United States and the Netherlands. Sociol Rural 3:38–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rollins T (1993) Using the innovation adoption diffusion model to target educational programming. J Agric Educ 34:46–54. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Scoones I (1998) Sustainable rural livelihoods: a framework for analysis. DFID, University of Sussex. Accessed 16 April 2018
  25. Stutzman E (2016) Three essays on silvopasture in the southeastern US: landowner and community assets, natural resource professionals’ perceptions, and landowner engagement. Dissertation, Auburn UniversityGoogle Scholar
  26. Vaske JJ (2008) Survey research and analysis: applications in parks, recreation and human dimensions. Venture Pub, State CollegeGoogle Scholar
  27. Wahlenberg WG (1946) Longleaf pine, its use, ecology, regeneration, protection, growth, and management. Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation and USDA Forest Service, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  28. Workman SW, Bannister ME, Nair PKR (2003) Agroforestry potential in the southeastern United States: perceptions of landowners and extension professionals. Agrofor Syst 59:73–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily Stutzman
    • 1
  • Rebecca Jo Barlow
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wayde Morse
    • 2
  • Dale Monks
    • 3
  • Larry Teeter
    • 2
  1. 1.Lipscomb UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Auburn University, School of Forestry and Wildlife SciencesAuburnUSA
  3. 3.Auburn University, College of AgricultureAuburnUSA

Personalised recommendations