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The Arkansas Forestry Association (AFA) is a private association of firms and individuals in the forestry industry. The focus of the association is on those who grow trees, both corporate and individual growers. The corporate growers may be integrated both upstream (a business term meaning closer to the point of manufacture or production than to the point sale) and downstream (meaning closer to the point of sale). Downstream is most common as the corporate growers are often wood processors or paper makers. Some corporate growers are integrated upstream, providing such things as management services, herbicides, insecticides, fertilizers, seedling trees, and logging machinery.
The Arkansas Forestry Association Education Foundation, Inc. (AFAEF) is part of the private Arkansas Forestry Association. The primary function of the foundation is to provide the membership of the AFA with a place to donate, beyond their association dues, tax deductible funds to support activities in the interest of the association. Trees are a crop like any other, but the growing period extends over several years. Thus, tax treatment of this crop is very important to the economic development of this industry. Close interaction with federal and state legislators is funded in this way. Also, educational programs, open to all but primarily of interest to the industry, are conducted throughout the state. Such programs rely on the expertise of the Arkansas Forestry Commission (AFC) and the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM), which has the state’s only School of Forestry.
The eleven members of the board of directors represent the geographic areas of the state and segments of the forest products industry. The Arkansas Forestry Commission, a state-funded agency, employs its own staff of foresters and other experts and works with the AFA and AFAEF staffs in outreach programs for citizens through the public schools and in many parts of the community. Workshops, seminars, and written and visual materials are available. Information on the availability and content of educational materials may be obtained from the AFA and AFC offices in Little Rock and throughout the state.
An annual Arkansas Forestry Association Convention and Conference, supplemented by meetings in each forestry district, is held to disseminate information and provide a forum for members to discuss concerns. Exhibitors are invited to display new equipment, products, processes, and information. Anyone may attend, but it is primarily of interest only to industry members. Afterwards, the AFC produces a CD-ROM disk which it distributes free from booths at fairs and shows throughout the state.
For additional information:Arkansas Forestry Association. http://arkforests.org/ (accessed February 16, 2006).
Barton A. Westerlund and Roger K. ChisholmLittle Rock, Arkansas
Last Updated 7/14/2006
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