Temperate Agroforestry in the 21st Century: A North American Perspectivewca2014-1220 Shibu Jose 1,* and Temperate Agroforestry 1Center for Agroforestry, University of Missouri, Columbia, United States
The scientific foundation that has been laid, over the past decade in particular, has elevated agroforestry’s role as an integral component of a multifunctional working landscape in North America. Recent trends in the agriculture sector necessitate farm diversification as an essential strategy for economic competitiveness in a global market. The realization that agroforestry systems are well suited for diversifying farm income while providing environmental services and ecosystem benefits has increased receptivity on the part of some landowners. Agroforestry systems offer great promise for the production of biomass for biofuel, specialty and organic crops, pasture-based dairy and beef, among others. Agroforestry also offers proven strategies for carbon sequestration, soil enrichment, biodiversity conservation, and air and water quality improvement for not only the landowners or farmers, but for society at large. In an era of environmental sustainability and green business, the realization that agroforestry is an environmentally sound, ecologically sustainable, and economically viable alternative to traditional farming will propel its adoption to newer heights in the coming decades.