November 25, 2009

Participants in the Kentucky Woodland Owners Short Course tour Lebanon Oak Flooring
Participants in the Kentucky Woodland Owners Short Course tour Lebanon Oak Flooring
The University Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, through the College of Agriculture's Department of Forestry, focuses on providing knowledge, education and training to non-industrial woodland owners. For their success in those areas, the department recently received the 2009 Family Forests Education Award.

Presented by the National Association of University Forest Resources Programs and the National Woodland Owners Association, the national award recognized the UK College of Agriculture's department for their work resulting in contact with more than 37,000 woodland owners annually, affecting nearly 265,000 Kentucky woodland acres.

"We feel greatly honored to receive this award," said Jeff Stringer, extension professor in hardwood silviculture and forest operations. "We feel it makes us competitive in our extension programming relative to other land grant institutions in the U.S."

Approximately 90 percent of Kentucky forests are privately owned.The Department of Forestry's outreach programs extend across multiple venues, including face-to-face contact with woodland owners through programs such as the Woodland Owners Short Course, One Acre at a Time and specialty workshops for timber harvesting, non-timber forest products and biodiversity and wildlife management; Woodland Fall Evening Webinar Series; development of local forestry organizations; management programs available on compact discs; a channel on YouTube and Kentucky Woodlands Magazine.

"I think the award had a lot to do with the impact that those programs are having on the acres (of Kentucky woodlands) and the usefulness of those programs to woodland owners," Stringer said.

UK Forestry Cooperative Extension offers more than 100 educational events annually.  Through their outreach programs they have helped owners save or earn approximately $37 million annually with $175 million generated for the benefit of surrounding rural economies.

For more information about the programs available from the UK Department of Forestry, visit their Web site at http://www.ca.uky.edu/forestryextension/whatsnews.php.

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