Forestry Club donates to Alabama A&M

Lori Andrews
Staff Writer

   Alabama A&M participated in the 47th annual Association of Southern Forestry Clubs Conclave, hosted by Mississippi State University at Starksville this past spring. Unfortunately, they lacked the equipment to practice and participate, so they had to borrow equipment.

   The University of Arkansas-Monticello Forestry Club received an abundance of equipment in past conclaves and voted to send Alabama A&M some of their extra gear, to help them prepare for competition this coming year.

   UAM sent Alabama A&M a speed-chopping axe with a set of foot guards, a crosscut-saw and a bow-saw. The  Forestry Club was happy to donate these items to Alabama A&M to help them become a better recognized school for their forestry and wildlife programs by the “bigger” universities, such as University of Florida, University of Georgia and Mississippi State University.

   Alabama A&M is hoping to show the “big” schools that A&M is just as good as they are, even though A&M is a small program within a small university, much like UAM’s School of Forest Resources. The Forestry Club has been at the top for many years and they are expected not only to go to conclave, but also to win. Alabama A&M is working hard to just go to conclave and compete, and hopefully in years to come, to become one of the best.

   As Forestry Club President Jon Budde said, “The club wanted Alabama A&M to compete because forestry and wildlife is a dying breed in today’s society and we want to support it to increase interest and to increase membership in the ASFC.”

   Conclave is changing toward an event that emphasizes the development of leadership, teamwork, competition, sportsmanship, and professional and skill development.

   Dr. Lynne Thompson, UAM Forestry Club adviser, said, “Students get lots of chances to develop leadership skills in their campus clubs. This is especially true of the Forestry Club because it has an enormous objective: going to conclave and winning. Club leadership has to encourage their members to prepare for conclave not only for themselves, but also for the team, their school, and their university.”

   The UAM Forestry Club is not only about participation in conclave every year, although that is the primary emphasis. It is a group of students that have become best friends. There is an assumption that the forestry club is for men only but women are also a part of the organization and complete in conclave as well.

   “The Forestry Club means everything. It means I will always have a group of guys that will do anything for me and I will do anything for them …Comradeship,” Budde said.

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