About Us


The South Carolina Tree Farm Committee was formed in 1946 with two cosponsors, the South Carolina Forestry Commission and Clemson College Extension Service, now known as Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. In 1985 a third cosponsor joined in supporting the Committee, the South Carolina Forestry Association.

The Committee meets quarterly, usually the first Wednesday of March, June, September and December, in Columbia South Carolina. These meetings are  a combination of passing on information, committee reports and planning future activities. Committee members come from the three cosponsors, certified family forest owners, natural resource agencies, and representatives from the many segments of the forestry community such as consultants, foundations, and forest industries.

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the South Carolina Tree Farm Committee web site. The South Carolina Tree Farm Committee serves as the liaison between private woodland owners in South Carolina and the national American Tree Farm System. The American Tree farm System started in 1941 to promote management on privately owned lands to ensure a sustainable source of wood. Today the program focuses on all the resources in the woods including wildlife, threatened and endangered plants and animals, recreation activities, clean water, soil protection, historical sites and ecosystem management. The program is an internationally recognized certification system of good land management.

Any landowner with ten or more acres of woods can be a member of the Tree Farm System. You will need a currently written management plan that you will actively implement. We will happily help you become someone who is recognized as managing their land in a sustainable fashion.

As a Tree Farmer you will be participating with a group that is the oldest certification system in the United States.  In addition to recognition you will receive educational opportunities, representation in state and national issues, fellowship with fellow landowners and the best management advice available for your land.

Thank you to the South Carolina Forestry Association, South Carolina Forestry Commission and Clemson University Extension Service for their sponsorship of the American Tree Farm System in South Carolina. We are also grateful to the foresters who inspect properties and woodland owners who can display the Tree Farm sign showing they are caring for their land.

We will be having a busy year and I am looking forward to every bit of it. Come join us as we make the South Carolina Tree Farm Program even better.

Randall Ewing, Chair
South Carolina Tree Farm Committee


  • South Carolina Forestry Commission
  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service
  • South Carolina Forestry Association

Mission Statement

The overall mission of the Tree Farm Program is good forestry practices on more acres to provide a healthy environment with clean air and clean water, recreational opportunities, effective wildlife management, the protection of special places, and a sustainable supply of forest products.   

Goals and Objectives

A primary objective is to assist certified family forest owners to stay abreast of forestry practices and to aid them in managing their lands so they can meet their objectives.

Another objective is to assist landowners who are not certified family forest owners to become aware of the Tree Farm Program and to assist them in the management of their land to meet Tree Farm Certification Standards.

A third objective is to educate the general public about good forestry practices and the role family forests play in maintaining good forestry.

Benefits of Tree Farm Membership

  • Membership in a network of professionals and landowners who share your commitment to sustainable forestry.
  • Free professional advice from a forester. Invitations to seminars, field days and workshops that can help you achieve the goals you have set for your Tree Farm.
  • ATFS recognized sign of sustainable forestry and other ATFS promotional items.
  • Opportunities, training and tools that will help you in your education efforts about the benefits of sustainable forestry.
  • Local, state and national information on legislation and other issues affecting forest land owners.
  • An annual convention where you can meet, share experiences and enjoy the fellowship of Tree Farmers from across the country.
  • The opportunity to be recognized by fellow landowners and forestry professionals in local, state, regional and national Outstanding Tree  Farmer competition.
  • An annual SC Tree Farm Tour to view the property of the SC Tree Farmer of the Year.
  • Periodic newsletters from the South Carolina Tree Farm Committee.
  • A complimentary issue to Tree Farmer, the Guide to Sustaining America's Family Forests magazine, the bi-monthly forest enhancement publication by Tree Farmers for Free Farmers.

Certified Tree Farmer

A Tree Farmer is a landowner owning ten or more acres who manages the land for their objectives in a sustainable fashion and meets Tree Farm certification guidelines. The land is managed under a written management plan that accounts for water quality, wildlife habitat, soil conservation as well as forest product production. Tree Farmers protect the land from fire, insects, disease and destructive grazing. A professional forester can assist you, answer questions and help you develop your management plan.

Pioneer Tree Farmer

Pioneer Tree Farm status is the beginning level of tree farming. This program establishes communication with non-managing landowners to motivate them to work toward ATFS certification by implementing excellent forestry on their woodlands. Pioneer Tree Farm status is granted to allow interested landowners that are not quite ready for certification to become an ATFS member. Pioneer Tree farmers will work with a forester and have five years to reach Tree Farm status.

Officers & Co-Sponsor Representatives

Randall Ewing, Sr.

Vice Chair
Robert Franklin
Retired, Clemson Extension

Past Chair & Inspections Chair
Ken Leach
International Paper

Scott Phillips
South Carolina Forestry Commission

Program Administrators
Sally Tucker and Guy Sabin
South Carolina Forestry Association

Co-Sponsor Representatives
Dr. Tamara L. Cushing
School of Agricultural, Forest and Environmental Sciences
Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service Representative

Scott Phillips
South Carolina Forestry Commission Representative

Frances Taylor
South Carolina Forestry Association Representative


  • Publicity Committee
  • Inspections Committee
  • Awards Committee
  • Tours Committee
  • Fund Raising Committee
  • Outreach and Education Committee