Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winston County Extension Announces Upcoming Farm Accounting Classes

Photo courtesy:
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System is announcing three introductory accounting
classes for farms, ranches and other agri-businesses. While it is designed for agribusiness, any business owner or individual is welcome to attend.  The classes meet on Monday, March 24, 2014, at the Traders and Farmers Bank, Bernice Hilton Walker Building, upstairs room, in Double Springs.

There will be three different types of record-keeping classes taught. There is a $5 fee for each class payable at the door. Pre-registration is required due to a limit of 10 people per class.

Handwritten Books —using paper ledger sheets for entry of sales income and expenses.  This is a 2 hour class with workbook.  This class will be held from 10 a.m. to Noon.

Excel Spreadsheets—using Excel software for entry of sales income and expenses.  This is a 2 hour class using Extension-provided laptop computers.   This class will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

QuickBooks—Class 1—using 2014 QuickBooks Pro software for entry of sales income and expenses.  Three different QuickBooks classes will be offered in 2014. This is a 3 hour introductory class using Extension provided laptop computers.  This session will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The class instructor will be Robert Page, Extension Economist, CPA, and QuickBooks Pro-Advisor.  For more information or to pre-register, please call (205) 489-5376.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February Council Minutes

The Winston County Natural Resources Council met at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.  The following members were present:  Wade Hill, Mike Henshaw, John Sudduth, Chris Wright, Johnna Franks, John Creed, Carl Godsey, Jeremy McDonald, and Andy Baril. The balance in the treasury is $10, 599.15.  The following items were discussed:
  • New State Forester for AFC is Greg Pate.
  • Tree Give-Away is Monday, February 24, at 9:00 a.m., at the Forestry Commission Office in Double Springs.
  • Status of longleaf plantings in Winston County.
  • 4-H Chick Chain Program.
  • Boy Scouts planting some shortleaf on the Bankhead as a project.
  • Dave Casey has been named as the Bankhead District Ranger and is expected to start work at end of March.  He is currently working on the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina.
  • Snow damage to area trees, especially young trees.
  • Tornado damage in Black Pond area.
  • Tornado damage on State of Alabama lands near Houston.
  • FAWN program.
  • Educational programs at Payne Creek Demonstration area for Double Springs youth this spring.
  • International Paper plant in Courtland has now shut down completely.
  • Karen Boyd is now the Tree Farm program coordinator for Alabama.
  • WCNRC will tour some longleaf and shortleaf sites on Thursday, April 17, after a brief committee meeting at 9:00 a.m.
  • EQIP allocation for Winston County was $46,000.  Wade said that this sum was lower than last year, and that the NRCS already had more than enough applications for projects to use all these funds.
  • Alabama Canoe Trail and promotion of area streams to increase tourism to the area.
Mike Henshaw,

Greg Pate Sworn in as New State Forester for Alabama

        Alabama native Greg Pate was sworn in by Governor Robert Bentley as Alabama’s new State Forester on February 18, 2014. He brings with him over 30 years of professional forestry experience to the Alabama Forestry Commission, including 25 years in state government and the remainder in the private sector.
            Originally from Anniston and a graduate of Walter Wellborn High School, Pate received his Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management in 1981 from Auburn University. He began his career as a contractor with forestry consultants. Then in 1988, he joined the North Carolina Forest Service spending the next 25 years in various capacities including forest management, fire suppression, as well as nursery and genetics. He served as Regional Forester for five years in the Coastal Plain Region. The culmination of his career in North Carolina came in 2012 when he was named as that state’s ninth State Forester. Currently a registered forester in both Alabama and North Carolina, Pate also holds the distinction of being one of only a few people who have held the position of State Forester in two states.
The new State Forester credits his wife Mary in playing an integral part of his forestry career. They and their three children are heavily involved in church, community, and school activities.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with a great agency like the Alabama Forestry Commission and appreciate the confidence placed in me by the Commissioners and Governor Bentley,” said Pate. “Along with our over 250 employees statewide, I will continue to work with our landowners and forest industry, as well as other natural resources agencies and organizations to ensure that Alabama’s forest resource remains a top economic driver in the state.”
The mission of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to protect and sustain Alabama’s forest resources using professionally applied stewardship principals and education, ensuring that the state’s forests contribute to abundant timber and wildlife, clean air and water, and a healthy economy. To learn more about the AFC, visit

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

News Release from Bankhead National Forest, Protecting Archaeological Sites Preserves the Past

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Tammy F. Truett - 334-832-4470 Eric Schmeckpeper- 205-489-5111 Protecting Archeological Sites on the Bankhead National Forest Preserves the Past (Double Springs, AL) Feb. 19-- Archeological sites on the Bankhead National Forest are time capsules of information about the lives of people in the past and the conditions of the natural environment around them. The Forest Service manages these resources in a manner which recognizes their significance and provides protection. Disturbing archeological sites on federal lands is illegal. It violates several laws and can result in substantial penalties. Information recovered from archeological sites gives us a better understanding of how people lived. “Archaeologists often compare a site to a rare book in a library,” said Jean Allan, Bankhead National Forest district archaeologist. “If someone tears out several pages to keep and throws the rest away, we lose the ability fully understand the story.” Forest Service law enforcement officers are cracking down on illegal artifact hunters. If you see or suspect disturbance, vandalism or looting of an archaeological site, please help protect these sites by immediately reporting the details to the local Forest Service district office. Artifact hunting and disturbing archeological sites is a serious offense. Anyone caught disturbing or removing historical or prehistoric properties on national forests could face a stiff fine or years of imprisonment. When someone removes artifacts or disturbs a site, it destroys cultural information that links the past with the present. Leaving archeological sites undisturbed preserves a legacy that was left for all of us.

February Council Meeting

The February meeting of the Winston County Natural Resources Council will be held at 9:00 a.m., on Thursday, February 20, at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Free Trees Offered for Alabama’s Arbor Week

The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) encourages all Alabamians to join in this year’s Arbor Week celebration! The Winston  County AFC will be holding a tree seedling give-away on  Monday,  February 24, 2014.  The trees will be given out at the Alabama Forestry Commission Office in Double Springs, located at 225 Coats Street, starting  at 9:00 a.m.  and continuing  until all the seedlings are gone.
      According to the agency, the 75,000 seedlings provided in the give-aways were grown last year and purchased from Wallace State Community College’s Hopper Nursery in Hanceville. “We all need trees,” said Dan Jackson, Alabama’s Acting State Forester. “They provide a multitude of environmental, economic, and social benefits to the communities and citizens of Alabama. It’s our hope that more families across the state will take part in this celebration and share the joy of planting trees,” Jackson added.
      Although Arbor Day is observed in all 50 states and throughout the world today, it actually finds its roots in Nebraska. The idea was conceived and the name “Arbor Day” proposed by J. Sterling Morton in 1872,  then a member of the State Board of Agriculture and later U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The idea caught on and over one million trees were planted that first year. Other states followed suit and, in 1887, Alabama Governor Thomas Seay signed the state’s first Arbor Day Proclamation. The tradition of a governor’s proclamation continued in Alabama until 1975 when the Birmingham Beautification Board, the State Garden Club, the AFC, and the State Board of Education collaborated with the State Legislature to pass a legislative act designating the last full week in February as “Arbor Week.”
      The mission of the Alabama Forestry Commission is to protect and sustain Alabama’s forest resources using professionally applied stewardship principals and education, ensuring that the state’s forests contribute to abundant timber and wildlife, clean air and water, and a healthy economy. To learn more about the AFC, visit