Conservation Through Cultivation: Forest Grown Verification for the Profitable Production of Medicinal Herbs

USDA CIG (Conservation Innovation Grant) AWARD for 2017 ANNOUNCES: Rural Action, Inc. in partnership with United Plant Savers proposes to establish a regional Forest Grown Verification (FGV) system for commercially significant forest herbs, using a third-party certification structure and species-specific education to build a network of enrolled forest farmers.

The project will provide site-based technical assistance to FGV-enrolled and eligible forest farmers to support the growth of regional forest farming operations. This strategy creates an economic incentive for private landowners (especially historically underserved populations) to implement conservation practices that support the abundant and ongoing growth of marketable forest grown products.

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Rural Action and United Plant Savers have been collaborating for years offering workshops on stewardship of native medicinal plants, and forest management for landowners. We are working hard to address conservation issues and at the same time build a network for those who have an interest in forest farming native medicinal plants.


The Forest Grown Program for the Profitable Production of Medicinal Herbs project aims to improve market conditions for forest farmers and herbal product manufacturers and to relieve pressure on native plant populations. This will be achieved by providing an efficient and no-cost to the land owner opportunity to certify cultivated forest grown crops along with developing a network of certified growers and buyers.

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Rural Action, United Plant Savers, and partners will utilize trainings and peer to peer education, outreach and networking, and forest management plan and tool kit creation to increase profitability for underserved forest farmers and develop local markets. An advisory board of growers, buyers, herbal product companies, researchers, professional organizations, certifiers, and conservationists will help to oversee the project.

If you are interested in our educational programs, opportunity to have a site visit and evaluation of your forests, or to join our network of regional forest farmers – contact us at

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