Centre for Northern Agroforestry and Afforestation

Agroforestry in Saskatchewan

The parkland and boreal fringe region of Saskatchewan is known for its rich and diverse resource base. Here, the vast expanse of agricultural fields to the south meets the seemingly endless forests to the north.

Traditionally, forestry and agriculture have remained distinct from each other, but the merging interest in agroforestry and afforestation (integrating trees into agricultural production systems) in this region is creating an economic niche that is attractive to landowners, industry, government and other interest groups.

Who We Are

All researchers in the Centre for Northern Agroforestry and Afforestation, are affiliated through the University of Saskatchewan. Our group has a wide capacity in terms of laboratories, field facilities, offices and meeting space for students. The University of Saskatchewan is a public research university which was founded in 1907.  It is a member of the U15 Group which includes the fifteen most research-intensive universities in Canada.  Since its founding, the University has included an Agricultural College, and is recognized as one of the leading agricultural research locations in Canada.

Centre for Northern Agroforestry and Afforestation

The Centre was established in 2006 by Dr. Ken Van Rees in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan.  Dr. Van Rees was appointed to the Agri-Food Innovation Fund (AFIF) Chair in Agroforestry and Afforestation in 2003 to develop woody crops in the Prairie Provinces as a means for diversifying farm income.

Changes in shelterbelt growth at one of our field sites in Saskatchewan over time.

Our Vision

The vision of the Centre for Northern Agroforestry and Afforestation is to advance a sustainable agroforestry industry that contributes to developing better communities, a growing economy and a developing environment. 

Our Mission

  • To facilitate the coordination and collaboration of scientific research activities, both biological and socioeconomic, among the stakeholders in Saskatchewan for using woody plants in agroforestry/afforestation systems on agricultural land for farm diversification, fibre production and other environmental purposes.
  • To promote the incorporation of the biological and socioeconomic knowledge related to agroforestry/afforestation systems into the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture curriculum and into extension programs for stakeholders on the land base. 
  • To network with various agencies to develop Saskatchewan as a knowledge centre in Agroforestry/Afforestation.  

Our website is designed to profile the research activities of our working group, and provide useful information for:

  • Landowners, woodlot managers
  • Forest management companies
  • Government
  • Research organizations