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Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Environmental Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Hollenhorst, Steven J.

Second Advisor

Laninga, Tamara Jean

Third Advisor

Carrie Brausieck


Agroforestry (AF) practices mitigate climate change, provide ecosystem services, benefit communities, and create long-term economic opportunities for farmers and land managers worldwide. Despite these well-documented benefits, however, the adoption of agroforestry practices remains low. This study aimed to understand the barriers and incentives to adoption by applying the stated choice method to a case study of direct-to-market farmers in the four counties of northwest Washington State: Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island. Our results indicate that the scale of initial implementation and the upfront costs of seedlings had the largest relative impact on respondent decision making. Similarly, one early adopter in a community had an outsized effect on recruiting future adopters. These results provide important information for local extension and other support agencies, namely a predictive understanding of adoption behavior given different combinations of agroforestry attributes. More generally, our study demonstrates how to apply an easily scalable and replicable econometric method to better understand landholder preferences for agroforestry systems. Agroforestry adoption has long been hampered by a lack of rigorous ex-ante research, and the stated choice method provides an exciting way forward for future agroforestry adoption studies.




agroforestry, adoption, stated choice method, ex-ante, Washington State


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Agroforestry--Washington (State); Agroforestry--Research--Washington (State); Sustainable agriculture--Washington (State); Land use, Rural--Washington (State)

Geographic Coverage

Washington (State)




masters theses




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