A Focus on Food, Fire & Agroforestry

Free, virtual Agroforestry Symposium scheduled for Jan. 24

The annual Agroforestry Symposium returns in 2022 with a focus on diverse ecological knowledges that contribute to climate resilience. The symposium, led by the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) Center for Agroforestry, will again be completely virtual this year – and free of charge.

This is the 13th year of the event and registration is currently open. The symposium will be held virtually on Thursday, Jan. 20, and will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Standard Time. Registration can be found on the Center for Agroforestry website.

“The Agroforestry Symposium is a signature event for our Center,” said Sarah Lovell, director for the Center for Agroforestry and H.E. Garrett Endowed Chair Professor in the School of Natural Resources (SNR). “We continue to adapt the content and delivery to meet the needs of an expanding audience interested in agroforestry and other related topics.”

The theme for this year’s event is Food, Fire, & Agroforestry for the Future: Ecological Knowledges for Climate Resilience. This topic is highlighted to bring attention to the ways that intercultural perspectives in land-based sciences are essential as we collectively face current climate realities.

Along with webinars, virtual community networking opportunities, and a film screening of Inhabitants, the symposium will feature several renowned presenters. P.K. Ramachandran Nair is the morning keynote speaker. Nair is a leading researcher and emeritus educator in agroforestry at the University of Florida. He has delivered keynote presentations on international agroforestry practices in many professional gatherings around the world.

The Center for Agroforestry will also welcome Daniel Wildcat, a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas. Wildcat is the director of the Haskell Environmental Research Studies Center and has contributed 36 years of visionary leadership for Indigenous contributions to climate change science. Two copies of his book Red Alert: Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge, will be given to randomly selected symposium attendees.

Other presenters include Frank Kanawha Lake, research ecologist with the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station, focused on cultural fire practices and traditional ecological knowledge in agroforestry. A panel themed around education rooted in place for climate resilient futures will also include Lil Milagro Henriquez, founder and executive director of the Mycelium Youth Network, alongside Melinda Adams, N’dee (Apache) cultural fire scholar and educator, and Jann Hayman, Osage Nation director of the Department of Natural Resources.

“We are thrilled to host these outstanding speakers who will offer unique perspectives on critical topics related to climate resilience,” Lovell said.

The Center for Agroforestry is one of CAFNR’s Programs of Distinction, a select collection of programs that exemplify CAFNR’s drive to distinction. Those programs define CAFNR’s current impact on Missouri’s agriculture and natural resource economies, providing understanding for how CAFNR is addressing challenges facing Missouri agriculture and natural resources.