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October, 2010

VDOF Employee Named Farmer of the Year

Alan T. Sutherlin, a technician in Middlesex for VDOF, was honored by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Gloucester County as 2010 Farmer of the Year.A veteran employee of the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) has been named 2010 Farmer of the Year.

Alan T. Sutherlin, a technician for VDOF, was honored by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Gloucester County. Sutherlin, of Middlesex County, is a progressive farmer who uses no-till practices and maintains a nutrient management plan for his farm operation. Sutherlin works 100 acres of land raising corn and soybeans, and two acres devoted to produce crops consisting of cantaloupes, squash and tomatoes. He markets the “cash grains” to the local granary and sells the produce to retail farmers’ markets.

Sutherlin takes an active role in his local farm community. He is a member of the Middlesex Farm Bureau Board and is serving his second term as director of the Tidewater Soil and Water Conservation District Board. He recently completed a nine-year term as minority adviser on the Gloucester/Mathews/Middlesex FSA County Committee. For the VDOF, he assists landowners with their timber stands and teaches fire safety in school programs.

Congratulations, Alan, on this well-deserved honor!

Vaughan-Bassett Donates 170,000 Trees to Virginia Landowners

Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. renewed its “green initiative” in the furniture industry by donating 170,000 seedlings to Virginia landowners.

This effort, known as the “1-4-1 Program,” is a partnership between the nation’s largest manufacturer of adult bedroom furniture, and VDOF. Over the past three years, Vaughan-Bassett has purchased a total of 500,000 tree seedlings from the VDOF to replace the tree’s harvested for use in the Vaughan-Bassett manufacturing process. The VDOF will distribute the seedlings free of charge to Virginia landowners, schools, municipalities, etc. Recipients will plant the tree seedlings on their property.

The “1-4-1 Program” began in 2007 and was the brainchild of Vaughan-Bassett Chairman and CEO John Bassett. Vaughan-Bassett has more than 1,000 employees and is one of the largest employers in the Galax, Va., region.

Nurseries Seek Public's Help With Acorn & Seed Collection

Growing tree seedlings from native sources is a specialty of the VDOF. This year, as in years past, the agency needs help in preserving Virginia species. Citizens can do their part by collecting acorns and seeds from nine species and delivering them to the nearest VDOF office.

“Generally, the best time to collect acorns is the last week in September through the first week of October,” said Josh McLaughlin, nursery forester. “Every bag of acorns and seed collected by citizens will help us keep Virginia beautiful.” He added, “Lawns or paved areas are ideal collection sites. A single tree located in these areas makes identifying the acorns easier.”

The species most needed are: Chinese Chestnut; Black Oak; Chestnut Oak; Northern Red Oak; Pin Oak; Sawtooth Oak; Swamp Chestnut Oak; Swamp White Oak; Willow Oak; White Oak.

McLaughlin reminds anyone who is interested in collecting acorns or seed to: not use plastic bags to hold the acorns or seed; identify the tree species on the non-plastic bag, and to not combine acorn or seed from different tree species in the same bag.