About Tree Farm
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The Mississippi Tree Farm Program is affiliated with the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). 

The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is a program of the American Forest Foundation and is committed to sustaining forests, watersheds, and healthy habitats through the power of private stewardship.

ATFS has established standards and guidelines for property owners to meet to become a certified Tree Farmers. Under these standards and guidelines, private forest owners must have a written management plan based on strict environmental standards and pass an inspection by an ATFS volunteer forester. Every year a sample of certified Tree Farm properties are visited by an independent assessment team to assure properties are meeting ATFS standards and guidelines.

Water. Wildlife. Recreation. Wood. The four sides of the Tree Farm sign tell the story of sustainable forestry ... a thriving forestland that has clean water, a healthy wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities. Our green and white diamond shaped Tree Farm and Family Forest signs are widely recognized across the country.

The Tree Farm Program in Mississippi

The mission of the Mississippi Tree Farm Program is to promote the growing of renewable forest resources on private lands, while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry.

The MS Tree Farm Program is administered by the MS Tree Farm Committee, a standing committee of the MS Forestry Association (MFA). A team of more than 200 trained Tree Farm Inspectors conduct on-site inspections to determine if a forest property qualifies to become a certified Tree Farm. They also conduct annual "required reinspections” of a predetermined sample of Mississippi Certified Tree Farms.

Mississippi Tree Farm Facts

  • The first Mississippi Tree Farm was certified in 1944.  MS was one of the first states to join the American Tree Farm System.
  • Two of our MS Tree Farmers have won the National Tree Farmer of the Year award - Terry & Anne Ozier in 1990 and Chester & Rosett Thigpen in 1995.

The MS Tree Farm Program is administered by the MS Tree Farm Committee, which is one of MFA’s standing committees. Any MFA member is welcome to join the Tree Farm Committee.


John B. Auel, State Tree Farm Administrator

Betsy Padgett, Chair

Garron Hicks, Vice Chair

Glenn Hughes, Immediate Past Chair

Justin Dewberry, Treasurer




Contact: John Auel, Mississippi Tree Farm State Administrator
Department of Forestry, Box 9691, Mississippi State, MS 39762
Phone: 662.325.6852     Fax: 662.325.0027      Send Mail