Silvopasture Workshop Scheduled for August 3 and 4, 2018

Contact: Diane Mayerfeld, or 608-262-8188

Farmers know that trees can provide valuable shade for livestock, as well as income from timber and habitat for wildlife.  However, usually farmers are told to keep cattle and other livestock away from trees to prevent soil erosion and other environmental damage. Silvopasture is an agroforestry practice that intentionally integrates livestock and pasture with trees in a way that benefits both the environment and the farm.

According to beef farmer Rod Ofte, “Silvopasture allows grazers access to additional feed while improving wildlife habitat, controlling invasive species, and improving long term lumber stand quality.”

University of Wisconsin-Extension, University of Minnesota Extension, the Wallace Center Pasture Project, and the Savanna Institute will jointly host a silvopasture workshop in southwestern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota on Aug. 3 and 4, 2018.

The workshop will begin Friday afternoon, Aug 3, with a tour of Nettle Valley Farm near Spring Grove, Minnesota, followed by dinner and a presentation and networking session at Willow Creek Ranch in Coon Valley, Wisconsin.

The workshop will continue on Saturday morning, Aug. 4, with presentations on silvopasture design and principles, converting pasture to silvopasture, converting woodland to silvopasture, grazing management in silvopasture, and small group exercises on silvopasture design and management. Saturday afternoon will feature a tour of Willow Creek Ranch’s savanna restoration and silvopasture efforts.

Workshop attendees can also stay for an afternoon tour showing how Willow Creek Ranch farmer Rod Ofte uses native tallgrass prairie plantings to improve water quality and supplement the grazing rotation.

Participants can sign up for either day or both days. Nettle Valley Farm rotates pastured pigs through pine and walnut plantations and is converting woodland to create additional areas for the pigs to forage and access shade. Willow Creek Ranch raises beef, pork, and poultry on pasture and is integrating the livestock into savanna and prairie restoration efforts.

Register by July 25th at

The fee is $45 for both days; $15 for Aug. 3 only; and $30 for Aug. 4 only. Registration will cover dinner, a light breakfast, and lunch.

Contact Diomy Zamora (Minnesota) at 612-626-9272 or or Diane Mayerfeld (Wisconsin) at or 608-262-818 if the registration fee is a barrier.

If you are just interested in the Saturday afternoon tours contact contact John Delaney at or 608-637-3615.

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