SI: Savanna Institute 12:30-1:50 TR

Contact Information

Kevin Wolz, President
113 W Florida Ave. Urbana, IL 61801
708-476-9929708-476-9929
kevin@savannainstitute.org
 
Organization Mission 
 
The Savanna Institute (SI) was formed in 2013 with the intent to carry out formal case studies
of savanna-based Restoration Agriculture systems across the Midwest. We are currently
working with farmers across the region to prepare for the first iteration of the Savanna
Institute Case Study Program in 2014. The SI Case Study Program explores the potential
of savanna-based systems to become ecologically sound, agriculturally productive, and
economically viable alternatives to the corn-soybean rotation that currently dominates
agriculture in the Midwestern United States. Vision An optimal and resilient agriculture
industry, inspired by the savanna biome, widespread throughout the Midwest. Mission
Empower industry stakeholders to support, adopt, and enhance resilient agriculture
practices.
 
Problems and/or Opportunities 
 
The main hurdle that we repeatedly encounter is that farmers, researchers, and industry
leaders all have different backgrounds and speak different “languages”. Our main role in
the sustainable agriculture movement is to help bridge these gaps and make everyone
more effective and efficient. The specific issues that we come across as a result of this
overarching hurdle typically related to developing better mechanisms for data/knowledge
transfer and communication.
 
Solutions and Projects
 
RESEARCH
  • Develop a cheap, simple, and durable method to label individual plants in the field
  • Develop an engaging, simple, and effective method for farmers to collect on-farm data and submit it to SI
  • Research existing models of land access/tenure/investing for perennial agriculture enterprises
  • Develop a mobile application to map field observations (farmer records geo-located voice notes, plus friendly GIS interface for farmers to review their own notes tagged on maps of their farm that includes a crop layer)
 
EDUCATION
  • Develop marketing tools for clear communications with consumers about SI activities and/or products from SI farms
  • Develop an online resource page for farmers and industry stakeholders
  • Investigate models of online learning that fit SI's needs
 
OUTREACH
  • Investigate the potential development of a farmer co-op around fruit and nut crops
  • Develop a farmer-intern matching program
  • Investigate potential market opportunities for fruit and nut crops in the Midwest
  • Examine pathways to engage existing farms in research and outreach
7. Organization Mission What is your mission? Describe the population that you serve.
The Savanna Institute (SI) was formed in 2013 with the intent to carry out formal case studies
of savanna-based Restoration Agriculture systems across the Midwest. We are currently
working with farmers across the region to prepare for the first iteration of the Savanna
Institute Case Study Program in 2014. The SI Case Study Program explores the potential
of savanna-based systems to become ecologically sound, agriculturally productive, and
economically viable alternatives to the corn-soybean rotation that currently dominates
agriculture in the Midwestern United States. Vision An optimal and resilient agriculture
industry, inspired by the savanna biome, widespread throughout the Midwest. Mission
Empower industry stakeholders to support, adopt, and enhance resilient agriculture
practices.
8. Problems and/or Opportunities What are the biggest problems, most important issues, unmet
needs, and/or opportunities that you experience in your organization that an interdisciplinary team of
university students could help you address?
The main hurdle that we repeatedly encounter is that farmers, researchers, and industry
leaders all have different backgrounds and speak different “languages”. Our main role in
the sustainable agriculture movement is to help bridge these gaps and make everyone
more effective and efficient. The specific issues that we come across as a result of this
overarching hurdle typically related to developing better mechanisms for data/knowledge
transfer and communication.

Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer