Woodland conference slated to open Oct. 31



TIFTON, Ga. — The 2011 Southern Woodland Owners Conference & Solutions Fair will take place in Tifton Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center.

The event will provide forest policy and property management information to timberland owners, particularly small non-industrial private landowners. The conference theme is “Practicing and Preserving Your Passion for Your Land.”

According to the Georgia Forestry Commission, there are more than 5,000 owners of private timberland in Georgia, 30,000 of which own more than 50 acres.

Harris Sherman, under secretary for Natural Resources and Environment for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will speak at the opening session of the conference on Nov. 1. He is expected to address the prospects for the 2012 Farm Bill and his department’s new initiative promoting wood as a preferred building material.

A special “Forestry Night School” will feature roundtable small group discussions. Topics for the tables will include the challenge of invasive species, the federal BCAP program, managing for bobwhite quail, federal cost share programs, the 2012 Farm Bill and longleaf/wiregrass restoration.

A panel of active tree farmers will discuss their experiences and respond to questions from the attendees. Exhibitors offering woodland management solutions will play a major role in the conference. Continuing education credits for foresters will be earned by those attending the conference.

A highlight of the event will be two pre-conference field trips on Oct. 31. Early arrivals can select between a tour of Norbord’s oriented strand board (OSB) manufacturing facility in Cordele and a visit to Oakridge Farms in Sumner, a 3,200-acre farm known for restoring the longleaf/wiregrass ecosystem.

For program details and to register, log on to www.gfagrow.org or visit the UGA conference center website at www.caes.uga.edu/external/tccc/calendar.html. For more information, please contact Judy Couch at (478) 992-8110.