2015 Outstanding Vermont Tree Farmer of the Year Tour:
On September 12, 2015 at David Paganelli’s Clover Hill Tree Farm in So. Strafford, VT over 100 people gathered to attend the 2015 Outstanding Vermont Tree Farmer of the Year Tour. Two concurrent sessions were offered in the morning and afternoon. In Session 1 attendees joined Dave Wilcox and Paul Harwood. Dave spoke about care of wild apple trees, including release, pruning, mowing, liming, grafting and demonstrated how these things are done. Paul demonstrated forest stand improvement work and explained how manipulating species composition and improving stem quality affects future timber value. They both discussed the importance of establishing and maintaining a proper road, trail and landing system.
During Session 2 participants joined Toby Alexander, Steve Hagenbuch and John Buck. John spoke about vertical and horizontal structure and how it impacts habitat for a broad range of wildlife species. Steve talked about forest structure and how it impacts bird habitat. Toby discussed the range of NRCS practices that help to enhance wildlife habitat, create and maintain forest openings, reduce soil erosion, treat invasive plants and improve the quality of young forests managed for timber. Special thanks to Sun Edison for their sponsorship!
2014 Outstanding Vermont Tree Farmer of the Year Tour:
On September 13, 2014 Alan Calfee and TTM Associates hosted a tour of the 2014 Outstanding Tree Farm of the Year. Their 619-acre Tree Farm is in the towns of Rupert and Dorset in the beautiful Mettowee Valley of southern Vermont. Nearly 50 people showed up to celebrate and network with others on a sunny but brisk fall morning. Great food was provided by the Williams Deli in Dorset.
2013 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year: John Hemenway in Strafford, VT
On September 14, 2013 John Hemenway was honored with the 2013 Vermont Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year award at the Hemenway Tree Farm #22 in Strafford, Vermont. Tours began at 9am sharp and the many attendees chose one of three tours being offered that morning, which included discussions on 60 years of timber management in Taylor Valley, the archaeological / cultural importance of an 1800s farm community, or wildlife habitats and management. Folks then went to the Strafford Town Hall at 12:30 for lunch, followed by presentation of the OTFY award.
2012 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year:
Kathleen and Allen Yale's property of Derby, VT
Members of the public attended the 2012 Vermont Tree Farmer of the Year Tour on Saturday, September 15th. The tour highlighted various aspects of management, like invasives control, bank stabilization, and stream crossings, and included a sawmill demonstration. 2009 Tree Farmer of the Year Trevor Evans and Alan Robertson, VT Tree Farm Co-chairperson assisted Yale during the tour. Natural resource professionals from Vermont Coverts, Northwoods Stewardship Center, and Natural Resource Conservation Service were also on hand. The property has been a certified Tree Farm since 1978. Thank you to our sponsors Firstwind Energy LLC, Price Chopper, and Shaw's of Derby.
Yale Tree Farm Tour
2011 Vermont and Regional Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year:
Challenge Tree Farm owned by Putnam W. Blodgett
On Saturday, Sept 17, 2011 Put Blodgett was honored by being named the Vermont and North East Regional (13 states) Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year by the American Forest Foundation. This is a testament to his decades of sound forest management and stewardship of this 670-acre property that has been enrolled in the Tree Farm program for more than fifty years.
The tour began at 8:30am with morning snacks. At 9am, small groups took 3-hour walking tours led by professional foresters. Lunch was served under a tent and the afternoon concluded with presentations by invited guest speakers.
Putnam Blodgett of Challenge Tree Farm
2010 Vermont Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year:
Beaver Brook Tree Farm in Marshfield, owned by Mike and Vivien Fritz
On August 14, 2010 more than forty people gathered at Beaver Brook Farm in Marshfield for a tour of the 2010 Outstanding Tree Farm of the Year. Managing landowners Mike and Vivien Fritz work with consulting forester Rich Carbonetti from LandVest.
The day was extraordinary, both in weather and program. We had an introduction to the day in the 3-story 150-year old barn. Then, Mike and Rich each led two tours highlighting the large commercial logging and smaller landowner logging operations while Vivien busily set out a sumptuous lunch of pork and chicken, salads, and desserts... all prepared in her kitchen. Lt. Governor Brian Dubie stopped in for lunch and offered a few words on his family's forest landowner legacy and the Tree Farm that he manages. Following lunch, Vivien introduced us to the sport of "orienteering" in preparation for our afternoon send off, one-by-one, with map and compass to find our way through the woods. The Fritz's regularly host orienteering events and also maintain miles of groomed cross-country ski trails that are open for public use at no charge. VAST trails go through the property as well and under the Fritz's ownership, hunting is once again allowed with permission.
2013 Tree Farmer of the Year, John Hemenway (left), accepting Tree Farmer of the Year award at VWA Annual Meeting on April 6, 2013 with Forester Paul Harwood (right) and Tree Farm Chair Al Robertson (center).