Dear Extension forestry colleagues and partners,
Thanksgiving week is an appropriate time for those of us at SREF to wish you all the best for this holiday season. I also wanted to express my deepest appreciation for the opportunity to serve the land grant and USDA FS communities in the Southern region for the last 25 years. In early 2019, I will be leaving my post here as Southern Regional Extension Forester to accept the state program leader position for environment and natural resource programs, University of Maryland Extension. While my family and I are excited to begin this new chapter, I will long remember working alongside many of you to address this region’s natural resource challenges through education, technology and partnership.
I'm pleased to report that
will provide interim coordination for SREF beginning in early 2019. Leslie has been with SREF for several years and knows a great deal about our programs and partners. Her contact information is
. SREF remains a strong and viable regional program with five current full time employees who are doing amazing work for the region. Leslie will be a great coordinator!
This office has been funded since 1978 through the generous support of the thirteen 1862 Land Grant Extension Directors and the USDA Forest Service, State & Private Forestry-Southern Region branch. I’d like to offer a special thank you to the Extension Directors who hired me in 1993 and provided early mentoring and oversight. Indeed, support from Extension administration since the start has been very much appreciated. Our contacts at the Forest Service too, are to be thanked for their insightfulness in supporting a regional position with direct ties to the Land Grant System and Extension in the South. This position remains the only one of its kind in the country and provides valuable regional linkages with critical partners.
As the funding for the program from the Extension Directors is scheduled to end in June of 2019, a team of southern forestry Extension coordinators, southern NAUFRP and Forest Service leaders have convened to provide oversight for the office and any formalized regional Extension forestry programming moving forward. This team is being coordinated by:
Dr. Jeff Stringer
, Chair, Department of Forestry, U
niversity of Kentucky and NAUFRP Extension Chair,
Dr. Robert (Bob) Bardon
, Associate Dean of Extension, College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University,
Dr. Dale Greene
Dean, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia and Southern NAUFRP Chair, and;
Dr. Terrell (Red) Baker
, Director, School of Forest Resources & Conservation, University of Florida and Executive Committee Member on NAUFRP.
I’d encourage you to get in touch with Jeff, Bob, Dale or Red with any input you’d like to have. You can contact them individually by clicking on their name above, or you can email them all at once by
I hope to keep in touch with many of you who are doing great work reaching out beyond your state borders to help solve critical local and state forest resource issues. Not only are you gaining valuable assistance from others in the region, but others have benefited greatly from your involvement.
In closing, I hope that our office has in one way or another had a positive impact on the work you do here in the Southern Region. If you've got a story to share, or want to provide us with some input on our work, please don't hesitate to click on our guest input page:
Best wishes and remember, green side up!