So what is agroforestry?

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  • Agroforestry means growing and using useful, working trees and shrubs in rural landscapes, often combined with livestock and crops.
  • Agroforestry combines agriculture and forestry to create a profitable, productive and sustainable land-use system.
  • Agroforestry benefits, humans, animals, plants and the entire environment.

What do these agroforests do?

  • Trees and shrubs for land regeneration, healthy soil and secure food supplies
  • Trees that fertilise
  • Fruit trees for nutrition
  • Fodder trees that provide feed for livestock
  • Timber trees for wood to build
  • Fuelwood trees for cooking fires and heating
  • Medicinal trees to cure health problems and fight disease

Why is agroforestry important?

A key challenge we face globally is to feed ourselves whilst protecting the natural resources on which we all depend. Trees in our landscape meet that challenge now and in the future.

Who are we?

OAN (Otway Agroforestry Network Ltd) is a landcare group that encourages farmers to establish and manage trees for the reasons that matter to them. Landholders in our region want trees on their farms to shelter farm stock and crops; control soil erosion and dryland salinity; enhance their property values; and, if at all possible, generate alternative sources of income.

Fortunately, what is good for our private farms is also generally good for our communities: trees on farms can help improve the water quality in our streams; enhance and connect wildlife habitats; capture and store carbon dioxide; reduce the need to harvest our public native forests; and, provide regional business and employment opportunities.

OAN sees the strategic placement and management of trees and shrubs on farms as an important part of the infrastructure that underpins the economic, environmental and social values of our agricultural landscapes. The role of OAN is to help our members design and implement projects that will achieve the range of benefits they are looking for.

We are farmers working with farmers to explore how growing trees can make farming more environmentally sustainable and economically rewarding.

We were set up by local farmers with government support, in 1993, and we are a not-for-profit community organisation with more than 200 member families.

We are supported by a management committee and a team of trained peer group mentors who are all local landholders themselves.

Our approach is very different to that used by many other organisations that seek to encourage farmers to grow trees. We are not a government agency, industry organisation or environmental group that is seeking to get trees in the ground to meet a particular political, industry or environmental goal. We are a landholder group working for and on behalf of our members.

If you would like to became involved with OAN or would like more information please contact Marianne Stewart t: 5236 2086 e: marianne.stewart@oan.org.au or download a membership form from the OAN website http://www.oan.org.au

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