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Agriculture | Environmental Studies | Natural Resources and Conservation


Corrie Grosse


Reducing emissions of world food systems will be critical to combatting climate change. Silvopasture systems, which integrate managed forests with pastureland, have been shown to be a more sustainable alternative to traditional livestock production and have the ancillary benefit of diversifying the sources of income for farmers. Silvopasture may also have the capacity to serve as a mechanism for ecological restoration. This paper combines existing literature with an interview of a farmer who is engaging in silvopasture to evaluate the potential of silvopasture as means to restore Minnesota’s disappearing oak savanna ecosystem, while improving the sustainability of food production within the state. Based on current land usage within the historic oak savanna range, there is significant potential to restore a dwindling habitat while improving Minnesota’s food system through silvopasture.