Tree Farm System

The American Tree Farm System…

‘To promote the growing of renewable forest resources on private lands while protecting environmental benefits and increasing public understanding of all benefits of productive forestry’

The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is a program sponsored nationally by the American Forest Foundation. Founded in 1941, ATFS is the oldest and largest forest conservation, certification, and advocacy program in the United States. America’s Tree Farmers are committed to excellence in forest stewardship.

A Tree Farm is privately owned forest that is managed for wood, water, wildlife, and recreation. Additional benefits include improved habitat, watershed protection, outdoor recreation, and aesthetic value. There are also city watersheds, school forests, and some smaller public ownerships certified as Tree Farms or designated as Tree Farm Demonstration Areas.

Tree Farmers manage their forestland for pride, profit, and pleasure. They help meet our nation’s growing need for wood and paper products while doing their part to sustain our environment.

The American Tree Farm System is a program of the American Forest Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works for healthy forests, quality environmental education, and informed decision-making about our communities and our world. Funding for ATFS is made available from corporations, government agencies, individuals, grants, and other nonprofit organizations that are interested in good forestry on private lands.

The program operates through State Tree Farm Committees in 46 states in partnership with over four thousand volunteer professional foresters – from industry, government, and consulting firms.

State Tree Farm Committees make arrangements for foresters to inspect and certify Tree Farms and then re-inspect the land approximately every five years. These on-the-ground inspections determine whether the property meets the standards and guidelines established by the American Forest Foundation.

Certified Tree Farmers receive a Tree Farm certificate and sign. They also receive a complimentary subscription to Tree Farmer Magazine, Tree Farm newsletters, and bulletins from their own state Tree Farm committees.

Certified Tree Farms are eligible to compete in local, state, regional and national Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year contests. Additionally, Tree Farmers are invited to the annual National Tree Farmer Convention, conferences, field days, study tours, and seminars that teach them how to become even better forest stewards. The diamond shaped green and white Tree Farm sign displayed on a property is the sign of sustainable forestry.

Contact Aitkin County SWCD, if you are interested in becoming a Tree Farmer!