The Alabama TREASURE Forest Association (ATFA) honored its former president and a retired Alabama Farmers Federation employee for outstanding contributions to the organization during its annual meeting Oct. 10-11 in Auburn.
Former Alabama Farmers Federation Governmental and Agricultural Programs Director Jimmy Carlisle was honored with the Gary Fortenberry Partnership Award, given to a person or organization that has aided ATFA’s mission. Billy and Berta Blackwell received the Bill Moody Award, named after ATFA founder and retired state forester Bill Moody, for their promotion of ATFA.
“Jimmy was very instrumental in combining the Federation and the TREASURE Forest organizations,” said ATFA President John Farrow. “Without people like Jimmy, it would have been much harder for the organizations to merge.”
Last year, in addition to his duties as mayor of Ozark, Billy Blackwell served as president of ATFA when it merged with the Federation.
“Billy worked tirelessly to make sure all necessary steps were taken to make the partnership between Alfa and ATFA work,” Farrow said. “It certainly wasn’t easy, but his efforts to lead the partnership will help our organization grow and continue to promote sustainable forest management.”
Blackwell said he was honored to receive the award, but encouraged members to look ahead to the future.
“I’m truly humbled to receive the Bill Moody Award,” he said. “I want to say ‘thank you’, and let’s continue to make ATFA and Alfa the best partnership it can be.”
After the luncheon, about 90 ATFA members attended educational sessions in forest management, wildlife and non-traditional forestry topics.
Sylacauga resident Howard Gillum, who has been a TREASURE Forest member since 1990, admitted he hasn’t been to an annual meeting in years, but he’s glad he attended this year.
“Out of all the topics the Southeastern Raptor Center was the best,” he said. “They had live birds and what they talked about you saw in-person. The facilities at the school of forestry were excellent.”
Lauderdale County ATFA member Bob Blanks said the Mary Olive Thomas demonstration forest tour made him think of some revenue options for his tree farm.
“I’ve never thought of bailing pine straw until today,” he said. “After the demonstration today I’m seriously considering implementing it, and I thoroughly recommend all forest owners to consider it.”