Forestry & Wildlife
AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – More than 90% of Alabama’s forestland is privately owned. This places a large amount of responsibility on private landowners to maximize the potential of their long-term investments. To help educate these stakeholders and maximize their forests’ potential, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System forestry specialist created the Forest Business Resources Program.
Forestry specialist Adam Maggard grew up around land management with his family. The Maggards operated a cattle ranch and grew citrus and other crops in Florida where Adam was first introduced to Extension.
“I saw first-hand the impact Extension has on landowners in terms of education and assistance,” Maggard said. “When I realized you could have a career working in the woods with landowners and managing forests, I was hooked.”
This inspired Maggard to pursue a Bachelor of Science in forestry and dive into the world of natural resource management.
“At first, it never crossed my mind to be in an educational role with Extension,” Maggard said. “If you would have told me that I would have this opportunity, I probably would have looked at you a little funny.”
Of course, many years later, Maggard is one of Alabama Extension’s best forest business minds. He currently leads the Forest Business Resources Program and helps countless Alabama landowners with educational resources.
About the Program
The Forest Business Resources Program is all about the private landowner. Specifically designed for the livelihoods of this demographic, the program provides education and resources for managing forests to meet objectives, producing income and decision-making.
“The program is a broader umbrella that encompasses a lot,” Maggard said. “We’re combining forest management techniques and practices with education from the business side.”
Maggard said the program enhances the focus on tools for temporary and small-scale income, as well as owning and operating value-based business. Some of these opportunities include the sale of timber and nontimber forest products, portable sawmills and current market trends.
In turn, this resource aims to not only benefit forest landowners but also the forests themselves. Every component of the program aims to increase the health of all natural resources.
“We saw this need here in Alabama,” Maggard said. “It’s really about improving forest resources in the state as well as their sustainability and improving opportunities for forest landowners. We have resources for those who are active land managers as well as those who are brand new to the process.”
Alabama Extension serves as a trusted resource for forestry knowledge as well as many other topics. Maggard said the information obtained from the Forest Business Resources Program provides tremendous value to stakeholders as well as his own experiences.
“What I really value with Extension is everything that we give to landowners is science-based, proven, factual and reliable information, and that is what we build all of our programming around,” he said.
Maggard said he wants this program to be the place forest landowners go when they have questions and are curious about new, trendy opportunities for forestry. It is a dynamic time to be a part of the forest industry and business in Alabama, because there are increasing opportunities for landowners.
Being able to help established and aspiring landowners with their forestry goals is what drives Maggard every day.
“To be able to be in a position where I am able to do this for a living is very important to me,” Maggard said. “I really value making connections, creating those relationships with stakeholders to understand their goals and objectives. Being able to work with landowners and help them make decisions has been the most impactful to me.”
Explore More Resources
Alabama Extension does not stop with forestry. There are many other areas that Extension helps Alabamians with every day. Search the list of several other topics at www.aces.edu and find a multitude of proven resources to help you succeed – no matter the endeavor.
For more information on forestry, visit the Forestry & Wildlife section of Alabama Extension’s website.