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    Silvopasture Event to Celebrate Trees, Pastures & Biodiversity

    Agroforestry Michael Taylor Taylors Run Kentucky 320pIt has been 29 years since the Taylor family at Kentucky hosted more than 6000 participants at ‘Treefest’, a field day to showcase current understanding and techniques in broadscale tree planting of the time, in response to widespread New England Dieback. To mark the anniversary, Michael Taylor, son of Treefest’s original hosts Jon and Vicki Taylor, has partnered with Southern New England Landcare to co-host Silvopasture 2021.

    Michael, now principal at Taylor’s Run Silvopasture Farm, said the catalyst for the event was the 2019 drought.
    “It was a year that eclipsed many of the previous droughts we have experienced in New England since western settlement in the 1830s,” said Michael.
    “Many people have witnessed not only groundcover loss but also the death of many trees in the landscape,” he said.
    “Ground cover and tree health are a big part of the engineered silvopasture system as well as the natural silvopasture ecosystems of the region that preceded our modern grazing enterprises,” he said.

    Silvopasture is generally recognised as a form of agroforestry where trees and shrubs are integrated with pastures for forage and grazing purposes. This layered, diverse, and integrated farming approach provides economic, social and environmental benefits that are resilient and adaptable across whole landscapes.

    Organisers originally planned the event to be held in 2020, but it was postponed due to Covid-19. Instead, it will now be held as a two-part webinar series on Thursday 6th and 13th May 2021.

    An impressive line-up of specialists have been engaged. Karen Zirkler, Executive Officer at Southern New England Landcare said, “Our keynote speaker is Rowan Reid, advocate for agroforestry, author of ‘Heartwood’ and founder of the Australian Master Tree Grower program and the Australian Agroforestry Foundation.”

    “Professor Nick Reid, co-author of ‘Nature and Farming: Sustaining Native Biodiversity in Agricultural Landscapes’ will also present on the services that ecosystems provide to farms,” she said.

    Other local specialists on the program include David Carr, Fields Environmental Solutions, Kentucky Tree Nursery, and Scott Hall, who will provide sessions on seed collection, planting techniques, species selection, maintenance, succession and harvesting.

    Tickets are now on sale and more information can be found at https://snelandcare.org.au/event/silvopasture-2021-webinars or by calling 6772 9123.
    The event is supported by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, through funding from Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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