Sustaining for the Future
We care about sustainability because the land is our most treasured family heirloom.
Farmers and timber landowners work with the future in mind. We use forward-thinking practices to reduce inputs, protect land, produce healthy and sustainable products, and ensure the next generation has resources needed to farm and produce timber.
Alabama’s forested landscape delivers critical ecosystem services that benefit our planet and daily lives. Since the 1950s, Alabama forest landowners have planted more trees than they’ve cut down. According to the Alabama Forest Inventory Analysis, 1.56 trees are planted for every tree harvested.
Farmers embrace new ideas, too. In the early 1980s, growers in Alabama’s Black Belt Region started raising catfish. It’s become a thriving industry and secured the family farm for the next generation.
Farmers and forest owners join grassroots organizations and associations to glean ideas about more efficient, sustainable growing practices across commodities.
Continuing education programs abound. Beef Quality Assurance teaches cattlemen best management practices. Seasonal workshops help poultry farmers manage Alabama’s temperature swings. Pesticide applicator courses are required for row crop farmers.
Each year, landowner tours across the state offer natural resources learning opportunities. Loggers attend classes on forestry BMPs, as well.
Forest landowners who manage property for multiple uses and long-term sustainability can receive special certifications, too, including Tree Farm, Stewardship Forest and TREASURE Forest.
Farmers are innovative in how they share their stories, using social media to share farm practices and answer questions directly from consumers.
They also welcome consumers to the farm via agritourism, including pumpkin patches, strawberry U-pick fields and petting zoos.
It’s all about sustaining the land for the next generation.
Remember: 93% of Alabama’s 23.1 million acres of forestland are privately owned. And 97% of Alabama farms are family owned.