Watkins Forest Steward Landowner of the Year

BOBBY WATKINS, joint owner of the Watkins Tree Farm in Monroe County, Miss., was named his state's 2004 Forest Steward Landowner of the Year.

His family's property includes 66 acres of former cropland using Conservation Reserve Program management, 38 acres of pastureland converted into pine plantations, 40 acres of hardwoods, and 10 acres of Tombigbee River hardwoods, along with several ponds and green fields.

Watkins used intensive forest management practices, including fifth-row thinning, herbicides, and cool season burns, crop tree pruning, and fertilization.

“These practices promote increased tree growth and financial returns, along with excellent wildlife habitat conditions,” said Watkins.

On May 19, the National Wild Turkey Federation will host a wild turkey woodlands field day on the Watkins' farm. The event is open to the public. There is a $15 registration fee.

Topics for the day-long event include managing your property for wild turkey habitat; planting chufa and other food plots for wild turkeys and other wildlife; applying for state and federal land management cost-share programs; and managing pine and hardwood stands for wildlife and timber.

The event will be held on Coontail Road just north of Aberdeen from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m.

For more information contact Valkenburg at 662-842-5312 or Watkins at 662-323-7950. The workshop is limited to the first 100 people who register.

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