Although I grew up on the edge of Virginia Tech’s campus, I have developed affection for Clemson because of the knowledge and confidence it has helped me acquire. Its Master Tree Farmer Course, which truly changed my life, will be offered again in April.
The Master Tree Farmer Course is an intensive educational program designed to introduce landowners to the principles of forest management. The program’s purpose is to help landowners protect and manage their wooded property for maximum productivity and profitability.
Topics covered include basic forestry terms and concepts; pine stand management to include site preparation, planting, weed control, diseases, pests and wildlife habitat; hardwood management to include considerations for certain valuable hardwood species and for mixed stands; forest revenues to include gaining income from harvesting timber and from non-timber sources; and forest business to include timber taxation, cost share programs, inheritance issues and more.
The program, initiated by Clemson professor George Kessler, is now televised to land grant universities across the Southeast. Forestry professionals from private and public organizations serve as instructors and presenters. Each session is a live broadcast, giving participants the unique opportunity to learn from and interact with specialists from throughout the region. Classroom sites are hosted by extension agents or other forestry professionals.
This year the program will also be delivered via the Internet, providing the option of watching and interacting with presenters from personal computers.
Beginning Tuesday, April 2, there will be five weekly two-hour sessions from 6:30 until 8:30 p.m. South Carolina host sites are scheduled in the following locations: Chester, Conway, Edgefield, Greenwood, Greenville, Newberry, Orangeburg, Walhalla and Walterboro.
If you want to improve your understanding of land stewardship and learn about sustainable forestry and best management practices for forest ecosystems, this is your opportunity. The cost is $100 and includes a resource manual. It could be one of the best investments you will ever make. It was for me.
For registration information, go to www.mastertreefarmer.com.
— Joanna Angle is a Master Tree Farmer and 2012 South Carolina Tree Farmer of the Year. Her Cedarleaf Farm in Chester County is a Certified Stewardship Forest and part of the American Tree Farm System.