The American Forest Farming Council (AFFC)

A group of people learn about plants in the forest.

The American Forest Farming Council (AFFC) is envisioned as the natural evolution of the Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition (ABFFC), which is set to retire in 2023 after eight years of great work. Our goal between now and then is to gather input and ideas about how a council can most effectively support the interests and needs of coalition members. In the end, we hope to stand up a permanent council as we stand down the coalition.

The AFFC will likely resemble other professional societies/associations, with sub-committees focused on topics like science and technology, external advocacy, and member services, but there will also be unique programs and goals. You can help us ensure the AFFC meets your needs and we look forward to hearing from you. You can start by providing your thoughts here.

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We thank the USDA National Agroforestry Center for sponsoring this effort.

Point-of-Harvest (PoH) Program

The ABFFC is in the process of developing a Point-of-Harvest (PoH) training and market development program for wild harvesters. The PoH program will focus on supporting environmentally responsible and economically viable wild NTFP enterprises. Our goal is to offer PoH harvester training that is free of charge and recognized by the industry and large landholders such as the US Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy.

Potential PoH training topics include safety, technology, harvesting and propagation, plant identification and botany, raw material storage and processing, and marketing and bookkeeping, among others. Local instructors will lead the way helping PoH participants become more competitive in the marketplace and make the most with their products in the supply chain.

The PoH program is a workforce development project and will depend on support from the companies that buy these materials. If you are a harvester or buyer of raw or value-added material, we need to hear from you about how the PoH program should be designed. Click here to provide your input today.

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Thank you from the ABFFC team!