Mark Shepard may be the first person in the U.S. to apply Permaculture at the scale of a 100+ acre farm, with tree crop polycultures as the primary focus. He took up the lessons of J. Russell Smith and put them into practice on a hilly, beat-up farm in SW Wisconsin in the mid-1990s. His New Forest Farm is modeled on our midwestern Oak Savanna biome, but employing more commercially-useful species such as Chestnut, Hazelnut, Apple, Grape, soft fruits, and medicinal herbs, as well as grazing a wide range of animals (cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys) through the system rotationally, with portable electric fencing.
His dream is to see this model repeated across the landscape, with Chestnuts as a corn replacement and Hazelnuts as a soybean replacement, to put an end to the soil loss and environmental degradation that has characterized our agriculture until now, while sequestering carbon, creating abundant habitat for all creatures, recharging aquifers, and more. He has unorthodox ideas about plant breeding, spacing, and management (STUN!),is a dynamic speaker and the author of the book Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers.