A nationwide survey of natural resource professionals was conducted in 1995 to determine state legislation and programs directly or indirectly pertaining to agroforestry. The study was based on the premise that the challenges of agroforestry adoption in the United States are linked to the necessity of sound policy.
Thought experiments can provide insight into complicated systems. This one may provide an interesting way of looking at agroforestry research. Imagine three groups of researchers: the first is composed entirely of horticulturists specializing in tree crops (A), the second of silviculturists (F), and the last a mixture of individuals from both groups (AF). All individuals in the experiment are selected for their ability to collaborate both across and within professions. We give each of the three groups the identical assignment of constructing a cropping system. The only rules for constructing the cropping system are that it must consist of a mixture of tree and non-tree crops and that it is integrated, intensive, intentional and interactive (the four I’s of agroforestry). We then replicate the experiment many times. That is, we maintain the A, F, and AF groupings, keep the same assignment, but use new personnel with each replication.