One Family’s Vision for Agroforestry in Iowa

Saturday, August 3 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Maxwell, IA

In partnership with the Savanna Institute

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABruce Carney plants trees in his pastures to provide shade for livestock, but also to grow fruits and nuts as an extra farm enterprise that supports the family’s next generation of farmers. We’ll see recently established trees growing along an installed swale that winds through grazing paddocks. We’ll also travel down the road to a once-overgrown wooded farmstead where Bruce has used cattle, sheep and goats to clear invasive species in order to promote forage growth.

The combination of trees, pasture and grazing livestock is called silvopasture, which is a facet of agroforestry. Keefe Keeley from the Savanna Institute will speak on the costs and benefits of agroforesty on Midwestern farms. Luke Gran from Prudenterra will discuss Bruce’s forestry plan, and Clint Miller from Polk County Natural Resources Conservation Service will speak on cost-share opportunities for agroforestry practices. We’ll also travel down the road to a once-overgrown wooded farmstead where Bruce has used cattle, sheep, goats, a brush mower and herbicides to clear invasive species in order to promote forage growth.

RSVP by July 31

HOST: Bruce Carney | Carney Family Farms | (515) 202-7326


Keefe Keeley – Savanna Institute

Luke Gran – Prudenterra

Clint Miller – Polk County NRCS


Bruce and Connie Carney work with their next generation of farmers – Amber, Jared and Derek – to produce and direct-market grass-fed and -finished cattle, hair sheep, pigs and poultry. Carney Family Farms is located on 300 acres of pasture that was once corn and soybean ground in central Iowa.


  • Adding trees to pasture and thinning woodlands to promote forage growth
  • Optimal forage mixes for silvopasture with cattle, sheep and goats
  • Tree fodder and coppicing
  • Adding diverse enterprises
  • Transferring land to the next generation


LOCATION: 13602 NE 96th St. Maxwell 50161


From I-35: Take Exit 96 toward Elkhart / Polk City and turn east on NE 126th Avenue toward Elkhart. Go 5.6 miles, through Elkhart, to the T-Intersection and turn left (north) onto NE 72nd Street / NE Yoder Drive. Follow the curves in the road for about 1 mile; it will turn into NE 134th Avenue. Go 2.4 miles and turn left (north) onto NE 96th Street; look for the first house on the west side of the road.

Note: The Carneys suggest using GPS, making the farm easy to find.


Lunch will be provided by the Carney family. Please RSVP by clicking the blue button below. 

We take RSVP numbers to get an idea of the amount of food that we need to provide for the event. If you RSVP after the deadline but before the event, you are still welcome, but we cannot guarantee a meal.

RSVP by July 31

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