By Maggie Edwards
A desire to help Alabama landowners fuels Dr. Adam Maggard’s quest to deliver quality Extension forestry programming.
That attribute also earned him the Duncan Award for Excellence in Production Agriculture & Forestry Extension. As the winner, Maggard received $5,000 for programming costs, courtesy of the Alabama Farmers Agriculture Foundation. This is the fourth annual Duncan Award, coordinated by the Alabama Farmers Federation to reward Auburn University (AU) and Alabama Extension professionals for helping Alabama farmers.
Maggard received his award during the organization’s Farm & Land Expo in Birmingham Aug. 4.
“To say I am honored would be an understatement,” Maggard said. “This award recognizes excellence in Extension outreach, and that is exactly what I strive to do.”
Maggard is an Extension specialist and assistant professor of forestry and wildlife sciences. The Florida native earned his bachelor’s in forestry and master’s in business from the University of Florida. He then ventured to Oklahoma State University, where he earned a master’s in forestry and a doctorate focused on loblolly pine productivity.
Maggard and wife Kristi moved to Alabama in January 2017 and welcomed their son, Brooks, later that year. Auburn’s strong roots in forestry Extension drove the move, as did Alabama’s place in the heart of the Wood Basket. The state is home to more than 23 million acres of timberland.
“I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Extension,” Maggard said. “I grew up in an agriculture family, so I saw firsthand the difference Extension programs make.”
Maggard builds Extension programming based on requests from Alabama landowners. This ranges from carbon market deep-dives and forest management to analyzing timber prices. Earlier this year, Maggard helped organize the first cross-laminated timber (CLT) conference in the South. CLT is a burgeoning business that could positively impact Southern tree growers, said Federation Forestry Division Director William Green.
“Dr. Maggard is a servant-leader who cares about present and future generations of landowners,” Green said. “It’s an honor to recognize his efforts and passion for forestry.”
Green praised Maggard’s ability to advise and impact forest landowners. Maggard also engages the next generation of natural resources leaders through Auburn’s Forest, Environment and Wildlife Leadership (FEWL) Academy.
Maggard said he values networking and strives to create connections with stakeholders and landowners, including Federation member-leaders.
“Building relationships drives and improves communication, engagement and education,” he said. “It’s something I love to do, so it’s something I do every day.”