Thank you to everyone that attended and supported our American Tree Farm Tour. It was a successful day with more than 60 individuals attending, and more importantly, we were able to finish the tour before the rain started! We especially appreciated the attendance by representatives from the offices of Representative Tom Cotton (R, AR-4) and Senator John Boozman (R, AR), which indicates their commitment to Tree Farm and private landowner forestry operations.
Almost 60 percent of those attending were private landowners just as we are. Those attending represented over 8,000 acres of timberlands and were from Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.
A special thanks goes to our family for all their support, help, and participation in the planning and execution of the tour.
Thanks to all the organizations and individuals that supported us with their time, effort, and, in some cases, donations. If possible, please support them with your business:
- American Tree Farm System (ATFS) – Mike Burns, Washington, DC
- Arkansas Forestry Association (AFA) – Max Braswell, Little Rock, AR
- Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) – Josh Smith, Magnolia, AR
- Arkansas Tree Farm Committee – Jennifer Johnson, Little Rock, AR
- Columbia County Farm Bureau Insurance – Stephen Zorsch, Magnolia
- Community Coffee – Greg Aldridge, Baton Rouge, LA
- Construction Safety Products – Amy Lesko, Shreveport, LA
- Deltic Timber Corp. – Scott Milburn, El Dorado, AR
- Hargrave Forestry Management Service – Wade Hargrave, Batesville, AR
- Kingwood Forestry Services, Inc. – Pete Prutzman, Arkadelphia, AR
- Landowner Legacy Communication – Ginny Nipper, Addis, LA
- Steve Koskie CPA, LLC – Steve Koskie, Homer, LA
- Webster Parish Farm Bureau Insurance – Clay Johnson, Minden, LA
- Weyerhaeuser Magnolia Nursery – Mike Waxler and Brian Finch, Hot Springs / Magnolia, AR
The topics and presenters that were discussed at various locations were:
- Farm histories – Allen Nipper
- Farm management plans – Allen Nipper
- Growth Plots – Weldon Nipper
- Diseased trees and cut or not cut decisions – Caroll Guffey (University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service) and Allen Nipper
- Prescribed burning – Josh Smith (AFC) and Wade Hargrave (Hargrave Forestry Management Service)
- Weather affecting prescribed burning – Emilie Nipper
- Water quality issues for landowners – William Nipper
- Boundary maintenance – Weldon Nipper
- Benefits of Arkansas Forestry Association – Max Braswell (AFA)
- Benefits of American Tree Farm System – Mike Burns (ATFS)
- Landowner benefits from AFA / ATFS – Allen Nipper
- Teacher Conservation Tour benefits – Elisabeth Nipper
- Oil-gas production issues for landowners – Allen Nipper
If you want more information on any of the topics discussed, please let me know.
It is always good to get comments from attendees, and while I probably should not brag, we did get some excellent ones. Below are those we heard or received in a written form.
- “Best forestry tour I have ever been on.”
- “You all are amazing!!!”
- “Last tour you had was great and this one exceeded that one.”
- “Great to see how all of your family is involved.”
- “You should be using some Arkansas built vehicles for state biz!” (If they would have been offered, we would have. Also, the tour was not “state biz,” as it was a tour on privately owned land hosted by private landowners.)
- “I am going home to tell my family we need to do prescribed burning.”
- “I’ve been on a lot of tours, and this was one of the best for a lot of reasons.”
- “You guys model your intentional efforts of working together as a family.”
- “Nice touch with the flowers and doughnuts. Wish the coffee pot had worked.”
- “Thank you and your family for the wonderful program you had at your farm. Everyone around me really appreciated the event and the information shared.”
If you were not able to attend the Tree Farm tour and would like to visit our Tree Farms, please contact me.
Below is a group of pictures taken during the tour by various individuals attending. Thanks to all of those that contributed these pictures.
Ginny, Emilie, Abigail, and William help folks register before the Tree Farm Tour begins.
Allen and Ginny welcome everyone to the Nipper Tree Farm.
Allen discusses management plans for individual family tree farms.
Wade Hargrave explains what he does for landowners as a consulting forester and prescribed burn manager.
Being safe is an important part of the risk management startegy of a Tree Farmer. A whistle carried with you in the woods can be important means to alert others if you are injured or hurt.
The group walks to a growth plot that is used to monitor tree growth.
Right after her father, William, discussed how to take water samples, Abigail decided she wanted in on that action as well. Her mother, Elisabeth, also jumped right in with collecting water samples before she married William.
Josh Smith discusses a demonstration prescribed burn.
Fire lane along the side of the demonstration prescribed burn.
Caroll Guffey, Cooperative Extension forester, provides information on diseases that kill pine trees.
Allen and Josh listen as Weldon discusses boundary marking including the role of the tree behind them.
Sign built by Joe Friend and installed by Josh Smith and his AFC crew.