Posted: January 8, 2021

The 2020 Pennsylvania Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year award was given virtually during the PA Forestry Association’s (PFA) 134th Annual Symposium to Rebecca Trigger and her son Mark Foley for their tree farm, Keystone Woodland and Field, in Greene County in the far southwest corner of the state.

Rebecca Trigger, winner of the 2020 PA Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year

Rebecca Trigger, winner of the 2020 PA Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year

Rebecca and Mark are excited to be able to share their story with fellow forest enthusiasts. The farm is about 140 acres, with 100 acres of forested land that is mostly hardwoods in various stages of growth. Rebecca purchased the farm in 1994, but, as she says, the “educated" forest management did not start until 2014. Since then, she and her son became PA Forest Stewards, joined their local woodland owners group, got certified in Game of Logging chainsaw safety, and, most importantly, looked for help. While most of the management work is done by Rebecca and Mark, they have successfully reached out and formed partnerships for assistance. They had (please note, “had") a mile-a-minute invasive weed problem, but through a collaboration with West Virginia University (WVU) and the US Forest Service (USFS), this pest has been nearly eliminated from the property. WVU and the USFS provided a biological control which happens to be a beetle that is so small it can be easily transported over the mile-a-minute infestation and dropped by drone. Keystone Woodland and Field tree farm became a test site for this new technology. They also have worked with a local high school's Envirothon team, providing a training site for students to prepare for their competitions. Students also help them with bigger projects like tree planting, and they hire an intern from this group every year to assist with the management. Many have gone on to work toward degrees in forestry. And since 2019, Rebecca has served on the Penn State Center for Private Forests Economics Working Group.

Rebecca and Mark will be planning an educational tour of their property sometime in 2021. There is much more to see so please plan to attend. Congratulations to Rebecca and Mark!

PA Outstanding Tree Farm Inspector of the Year

The 2020 Pennsylvania Outstanding Tree Farm Inspector of the Year was awarded virtually to Robb Piper at the PFA's Annual Symposium. This is the second time Robb has won this award and it is well deserved. Robb is a great ambassador for PA Tree Farm. Over the past year, he has re-inspected five tree farms and brought in 11 new tree farmers. In the big picture this means that 16 forests are being managed responsibly! A well-run state Tree Farm Committee should have volunteers from woodland owners, foresters, and government and industry employees, and Robb has helped the PA Tree Farm Committee be successful by actively participating for more than 20 years. As a Tree Farm Inspector, he continues to give value to the program by visiting with the tree farmers to validate that what happens behind the Tree Farm sign is good forestry.

For more information about the PA Tree Farm program, visit their webpage at www.paforestry.org/treefarm.

Written By Gay and Harold Thistle, PA Tree Farm Committee Co-Chairs

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802

Center for Private Forests

Address

416 Forest Resources Building
University Park, PA 16802