April 18, 2022 | By: Jordan Strickler
Lexington, Ky.

Two years ago, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment’s Department of Forestry and Natural Resources aired the first episode of what is now one of the college’s most popular podcasts. “From the Woods Today,” has highlighted hundreds of woodland and wildlife topics and celebrates its 100th episode on Wednesday, April 20. 

The program streams on Zoom and on Facebook Live every week. Billy Thomas and Reneé Williams, extension forester and information specialist, respectively, host UK specialists and forestry and natural resources professionals who share their knowledge of Kentucky’s forests and the creatures that call them home. 

“We started From the Woods Today as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to get the word out about forestry,” Williams said. “There are over 12 million acres of forests in Kentucky and we are doing our best to touch on topics that are most beneficial to the people who live in them.”  

From the Woods Today recently garnered accolades from the National Woodland Owners Association and the National Association of Forest Resources Programs when it won the Individual Project Award that focused on exemplary educational programming responses to the pandemic.  

“While our team was thrilled to receive this national recognition, the positive feedback we have received from across Kentucky is even more gratifying," Thomas said. "We are also very proud that the weekly program has been able to spotlight and feature many county extension agents and offices across the state which we know are incredibly important at the local level and beyond."

To celebrate their 100th episode, which happens to fall during the week of Earth Day, the department will give listeners a chance to win a weekend stay at Robinson Forest. The prize includes lodging, meals and tours of the almost 100-year-old forest, hydrology locations and trails. Managed by the UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources in cooperation with the Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability, the forest is a collection of eight tracts totaling 14,800 acres on the Cumberland Plateau in southeastern Kentucky. It is one of the largest research and educational forests in the eastern United States. 

Other prizes include a $60 canoeing trip voucher for two with Canoe Kentucky, a treasure box from UK’s Wood Utilization Center, vouchers for UK Forestry programs and classes as well as shirts, hats and mugs. 

Special guests for the April 20 episode include extension forester Laurie Thomas, who will discuss the different aspects of tree identification; Shane Tedder, UK Sustainability Administrator, who will speak about Earth Day; Kai Davis, a Forestry and Natural Resources graduate student, who will talk about how birds respond to tree plantings; and Ellen Crocker, assistant extension professor of forest health, who will spotlight some invasive plants to be on the lookout for this spring.    

Additional From the Woods team members include Matthew Springer, Jacob Muller, Briana Fortunato, Chad Niman, Bobby Ammerman, Darren Morris, Eric Gracey and Laura DeWald. 

To learn more about the 100th episode and to enter for the chance to win prizes, visit https://forestry.ca.uky.edu/woods-today-giveaway. To learn more about From the Woods Today and view archived episodes, as well as obtain a link to the Zoom sessions, visit http://forestry.ca.uky.edu/woods-today. The show airs at 11a.m. ET. 

The episodes are also available on Facebook Live at https://www.facebook.com/ForestryExtension/. 

Contact: 

Reneé Williams, forestry.extension@uky.edu 

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