Agroforestry Program Director, Appalachian Sustainable Development
Katie Commender started her agroforestry career in 2012 as an Agroforestry AmeriCorps VISTA at Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD). In just two short years as a VISTA volunteer, she trained hundreds of beginning forest farmers and developed a multifunctional riparian forest buffer program with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help dozens of farmers merge conservation and production goals across 25 acres in southwest Virginia. As the lead on a Virginia NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant project, Katie authored revisions for riparian forest buffer practice standards to include planting and harvesting of useful fruit, nut, and flowering trees and shrubs. In 2016, Katie co-developed the NTFP Calculator with the National Agroforestry Center and co-edited the Temperate Agroforester newsletter. She also received her Master’s in Forestry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where she served as the graduate teaching assistant for the agroforestry class and researched preferences and intentions for riparian buffer adoption and retention.
From ASD’s VISTA volunteer to Agroforestry Program Director, today Katie continues to teach the next generation of forest farmers as a founding member of the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition. In 2017, she founded the Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub to help medicinal herb farmers sustainably grow, process, and market herbs to premium domestic and international markets. Katie believes that by helping farmers sustainably produce medicinal herbs in both forest farming and alley cropping systems, conservation through profitable cultivation can be achieved.
Forest Scientist and Tree Grower, Bambra Agroforestry Farm
Rowan (B.For.Sci. & M.For.Sci.) is a forester amongst farmers. His latest book is “Heartwood – the art and science of growing trees for conservation and profit”.
Rowan won the Australian Eureka Prize for his farmer course (The Australian Master TreeGrower), which he continues to deliver around Australia and internationally (Africa, Timor Leste, Indonesia etc.). Rowan has lectured a subject in agroforestry at Melbourne University since 1991 and is now the managing director of the Australian Agroforestry Foundation.
Most importantly, Rowan is also a farmer and tree grower in his own right, with a family farm in the Otway Ranges of southern Victoria and a founder of one of Australia’s most successful Landcare groups, the Otway Agroforestry Network. More than 12,000 visitors have toured his Bambra Agroforestry Farm, which is set up as a 42-hectare outdoor classroom for farmers, scientists, students and tree lovers, and a living laboratory for his own learning.
*A detailed (draft) program agenda may be found here. Draft agenda may be subject to change.
Monday, June 24th
12:00pm – 4:00pm Pre-Conference Field Tour (optional, separate registration required)
4:00pm Registration Opens
5:00pm Welcome Reception
Dinner on Your Own
Tuesday, June 25th
7:00am – 9:00am Breakfast on Your Own and Registration
8:00am Vans Depart for Tour 1 (registration required)
9:00am Bus Departs for Tour 2 (registration required)
12:00pm Boxed lunch
5:00pm Reception and Dinner at Tyee Winery
Wednesday, June 26th
7:00am – 8:30am Breakfast and Registration
8:30am – 8:45am Welcome
8:45am – 9:30am Keynote
9:30am – 9:45am Coffee Break
9:45am – 10:45am Concurrent Session 1
10:45am –11:00am Break
11:00am – 12:00pm Concurrent Session 2
12:00pm – 1:15pm Lunch
1:15pm – 2:15pm Concurrent Session 3
2:15pm – 2:30pm Coffee Break
2:30pm – 3:30pm Concurrent Session 4
3:30pm – 3:45pm Break
3:45pm – 4:45pm Concurrent Session 5
4:45pm – 5:30pm AFTA Business Meeting
5:00pm – 7:00pm Poster Presentation and Reception
7:00pm Dinner on Your Own
Thursday, June 27th
7:30am – 8:30am Continental Breakfast
8:30am – 9:15am Keynote
9:15am – 9:30am Coffee break
9:30am – 10:30am Concurrent Session 6
10:30am – 10:45am Break
10:45am – 11:45am Concurrent Session 7
11:45am –12:00pm Closing Remarks
Official Conference End
Working Groups and Regional Meetings (open to all)
Thursday, June 27th 1:00pm – 3:00pm Starting with a brief plenary session sharing perspectives on working at a regional scale, join others in your region to learn who else is involved with agroforestry and discuss opportunities, challenges, projects, and partnerships in your area.
- Great Plains
- Pacific Northwest
- American Forest Farming Council
- USDA Agricultural Research Service