Forestry’s only family business conference proved to be another success

More than 350 family forest stakeholders came out of the woods, exited their offices, and left their university campuses to learn, engage and celebrate the heritage, stewardship, and future of family forest owners in America during the Family Forest Business Conference held June 27 – 29 at the Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia.

The energy level at this year’s Family Forest Business Conference was off the charts.  Not only was this year’s conference one of the largest attended in the history of FLA, it was also one of the most diverse – in everything from age to ownership size to generations of families.  Many “next generation” attendees started coming to the conference in a stroller. Today, they attend forestry schools or are actively involved in the management of their family’s forest land.  We had several families with 3 generations in attendance and other families with more than 10 relatives in attendance.

Diverse topics, tangible takeaways, stronger relationships

No matter what stage of forest ownership you are in – your first year or your 50th, small acreage or large – the Family Forest Business Conference’s diversity of session topics, speakers, and networking opportunities provided value-added returns for everyone who attended.  This year’s conference attendees left with more than notes: they left with tangible takeaways and strengthened relationships to help manage their forests and be more profitable.

“Our goal was to elevate this year’s conference to match FLA’s recent growth in programs and policy achievements,” noted FLA CEO Scott Jones.  “It was an amazing success that reflected the diversity of FLA’s membership and our core focus on the sustainability of the family forest owner in America.”

This year’s sessions intentionally covered a wide range of topics from the novice forest landowner to the larger, more market-oriented timber owner.  “I am always impressed with the speaker lineup. They brought a current perspective on the challenges and opportunities we face in terms of markets, trade, and trends in forest products. There was a palatable optimism about the future of our industry and that is not something I’ve felt since starting in this business over 15 years ago. I am always enlightened by the caliber and knowledge of the other attendees and landowners, which is what keeps me coming back to the FLA conferences.” said Tennessee landowner Alex Richman.

FLA President Robert Crosby summed it up best when he borrowed the comment from FLA’s Lifetime Achievement honoree, Blake Sullivan who stated upon acceptance of his award, “All of the accomplishments I’ve achieved in the forestry community don’t mean as much to me as the people I’ve met and with whom I’ve formed lifelong relationships.  That’s the most satisfying achievement.” Crosby noted he felt the same about the success of the FLA Conference, at the end of the day what makes it successful are the individuals and families that attend the conference. They are the pride and reason for the success of FLA and America’s private forest lands that provide economic and environmental benefits to us all.

View conference photos on Google


What conference attendees had to say

“I enjoyed the conference and am excited about the future for forest landowners.”  A first-time attendee, forest landowner from SC

“Thanks for a wonderful conference.  A nice location, great topics, and interesting people – as always.  I’m looking forward to next year in Squaw Valley.” Forest landowner from California

“FLA gives me a voice for forestry stewardship and attending the conference keeps me informed on market issues and fellowship of connecting me to other landowners.”  5th generation landowner from Virginia

“The conference gives me perspective on what is happening beyond my state as well as how policy can impact forestry.”  Sawmill owner, 3rd generation timberland owner from Arkansas

“65% of our sourcing comes from the family landowner constituency that attends this conference.  FLA is one of the best run association with quality people.”  Wood products corporate representative

“The conference sessions and speakers are always at the forefront of all aspects of ownership and management that impact our clients.  I always leave this conference with more energy and enthusiasm than I came with.”  Northeast consulting forester

“If you want to connect with the base of private forest landowners, this is the conference to attend.” Landowner from Louisiana

“I always say this is like a family reunion and our family keeps growing. It’s exciting to see the direction FLA and our industry is heading.” 5th generation family forest landowner



Missed this year’s conference? View presentations below

Presentations will continue to be added so check back if you do not see a presentation you were hoping to find.

Keynote Speaker Fred Cubbage, professor of forestry at North Carolina State University and co-director of the Southern Forest Resource Assessment Consortium What is Required for Stumpage Prices to Increase? Future Pine Timber Supply, Demand, and Pricing Trends.

Opening Session: Markets Matter: Understanding the strength, trajectory and competitive threats facing the owners of working forests across the country. Marc Walley, President of Forest Investment Associates Marshall Thomas, President of F&W Forestry Services

Dr. Adam Maggard, School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University: Cost and Trends of Southern Forestry Practices

Chris Johnston, IFCO Vice President of Sales and Marketing: The Role of IFCO in Contributing to the Success of the Southeastern Forest Sector

Dr. David Coyle, Southern Regional Extension Forestry Forest Health and Invasive Species Program Director: Enemy at the Gate: How the Import Economy Impacts Forest Health and The need for proactive forest management

Scott Brodbeck, Principal, Legacy Appraisal Services: Tracing Current Land Values, Their Trajectories and the Variables that are Really Moving the Needle

Bob Williams, President of Pine Creek Forestry: Managing Forests for Wildlife Habitat to Boost Overall Timber Productivity


Save the date for another spectacular conference in 2019!

Mark your calendar and contact your family members to make next year’s Family Forest Business Conference your summer vacation destination.  Mixing business, pleasure and family fun is a key component of FLA’s conference.

2019 National Conference of Private Forest Landowners

June 18-21, 2019

Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe

Olympic Valley, CA

Reservations:  Make hotel reservations by calling 1-800-403-4434.  Ask for the Forest Landowners Association group rate starting at $199 per night.