Agroforestry is a term that is used to describe a set of agricultural practices in which woody plants, especially trees, are integrated with annual crops or livestock on the same piece of cropland. Although widely practiced around the world, agroforestry was not an official USDA-accepted agricultural practice until the mid-1980s. Even today, although some agroforestry practices are eligible for federal cost-sharing money, in the grand scheme of things relatively little agroforestry is being practiced in North America.
For the practitioner of restoration agriculture, agroforestry represents the transitional forms that help a farmer or rancher transform his or her operation from an annual system to a more perennial system. Agroforestry practices allow a farmer to continue to do what they are doing today while they install the perennials that will be the mainstay of their future. Current cash flow is preserved while future cash flow is getting established and starts to grow.