Meet America’s Forest Caretakers
Everyday, these stewards of the private forestland provide an embodiment of FLA’s mission. They are exemplary citizens, storied families, and truly fascinating individuals who motivate our work.
Jane Hearn received a 418-acre tract in Georgia from her father, and recalls being the only woman in the room at a landowner meeting in 1985. She became an avid seeker of forestry knowledge on her own.
Patrice O’Brien and her sister Joy Swearengen own Twin Oaks Farm. Twin Oaks Farm is nestled in Mississippi’s northern hill country along the banks of Tillatoba Creek fifteen miles east of Charleston where the hills melt into the Mississippi Delta.
Wayne Alexander inherited his first 398 acres of land when he was 21 years old. His father purchased the 398 acres in the 1940s to raise cattle in East Texas and Northwest Louisiana. When Wayne inherited the land, he started planting forests.
Earl and Wanda Barrs have blended their love of forestry, the outdoors, and education and have made a profound impact on their community. Together, they created not only a Tree Farm but a living, breathing example of good stewardship.
Since 1741 Cinda’s family has been on the farm, longer than the history of America. Cinda’s personality is as large as her forests and it only take a few minutes with her before you notice that not only do you understand her passion for forestry, but now you also share that passion.
Spend an afternoon with Jeff Lageman at his 941-acre property in Wheeler County, Georgia, not far from the town of Glenwood, and you’ll talk a lot about forest and wildlife management, deer hunting, and the differences between land in Georgia, Florida, and Virginia.
Rose Lane Leavell sits in the family room of her farmhouse in Bullard, Georgia, surrounded by pine. Much of the 2,500 acres she owns with her husband, The Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell, is planted in pine.