W.J. Thomasson of Pansy in Cleveland County was named 2012 Outstanding Tree Farmer by the Arkansas Forestry Association during its annual meeting Sept. 27 in Little Rock.
Some people fix up old cars for a hobby, but Thomasson likes to buy pieces of land and see what he can do with them.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed forestry as a hobby and working with a host of trained people who have given me new ideas and techniques,” Thomasson said. “The Lord has been so good to me and allowed me to harvest some trees that I planted years ago. I have truly been blessed.”
Today his Tree Farm properties total 1,329 acres in Southeast Arkansas.
“After retiring from International Paper in 1988, I began doing some consulting work and enjoyed it very much,” he said. “It also afforded the proceeds to purchase more land and improve it.”
Thomasson’s Tree Farm tracts are a mosaic of natural and planted pine stands, food plots, roads, fire lanes and wildlife habitat. Thomasson has participated in Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Southern Pine Beetle Prevention Program and several other cost-share initiatives to help with several forest management activities over the years.
“Mr. Thomasson is unique and special person who spends a great deal of time and energy making sure his children and grandchildren will have a secure future and plenty of forest to enjoy,” said Robert Murphy of the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
For more than 60 years, the Arkansas Forestry Association has been the only nonprofit association representing the state’s entire forestry community. With more than 1,200 members, the organization promotes the wise use and management of forestland. For more information about AFA programs, look online at www.arkforests.org.