Designed to help producers with conservation practices,
event will cover grassland, forest, riparian management, and much more
MCPHERSON -- Vaughn Juhnke, winner of the 2006 Kansas Agroforestry Award will be hosting the 2008 Agroforestry Field Day at his McPherson County farm on Thursday, May 29. Agroforestry is the integration of trees, shrubs and other vegetation into agricultural production. The goal of agroforestry is to optimize agricultural production while simultaneously conserving and improving natural resource and wildlife benefits. Windbreaks, riparian forest buffers, and wildlife plantings are a few examples of agroforestry practices, all which may be found on Juhnke’s 40-acre farm.

The Agroforestry Field Day will provide landowners and natural resource professionals the opportunity to observe a successful model of land management that optimizes wildlife habitat, recreation, conservation, and aesthetics. A variety of concurrent sessions will be offered throughout the day that will provide information on how to establish and sustain trees, shrubs, native grass, and food plots. The sessions include the following:

  • overview of the property and conservation projects;
  • tree and shrub establishment techniques;
  • prescribed burning;
  • wildlife management;
  • wildland fire protection;
  • riparian woodlands; and
  • pond management.

When Juhnke purchased the property in 1996, the soil was eroding into Turkey Creek, and few trees and shrubs existed. “The water was cloudy with sediment,” Juhnke remembers. “It’s much clearer since we established the plantings.”

Almost 5,000 trees and shrubs (10 acres) were planted beginning in 1999, along with 8 acres of native grass and annual food plots for wildlife. Deer, turkey, coyotes, bobcat, pheasant, and quail have been attracted to the plantings and are seen regularly. Juhnke also built a pond and stocked it with fish, which provides habitat for Canada geese and a variety of ducks.
Dennis Carlson, Kansas Forestry Service (KFS) district forester, helped Juhnke design the tree and shrub plantings. “Vaughn spent many hours weeding and maintaining the planting,” says Carlson. “This accounted for exceptional survival and outstanding growth rates.” Many of the bur oak trees Juhnke planted grew more than 10 feet in six years. Friends, neighbors, and the local Pheasants Forever Chapter assisted.

In addition to educational sessions, a home-cooked lunch will be provided to participants for a $10 registration fee. A meeting brochure and registration is available on the online at In case of rain, the event will be held at the Eden Mennonite Church Activity Center, 4 miles west and 2 miles north of Moundridge.