GALENA, Mo. – For more than a quarter-century, John and Connie Johnson have worked to improve the forests on their 850-acre Horsecreek Tree Farm near Galena. Their commitment to forest management has earned them the American Forest Foundation’s Silver Tree Farm Certificate.
The Silver Tree Farm Certificate recognizes 25 years of outstanding membership in the Missouri Tree Farm Program as well as having managed their land in accordance with proper forest management practices approved by the Missouri Tree Farm committee and the American Forest Foundation.
This is not the first time the Johnsons have been recognized for forestry stewardship. In 1991, they were named Missouri’s Outstanding Tree Farmers. In 1992, they were named Outstanding Tree Farmers for the North Central Region of the U.S. In 1998, they again received the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year award for Missouri.
The Johnsons have worked with Missouri Department of Conservation foresters to manage their forest in a sustainable manner. Thinning upland hardwood stands to remove poor quality and diseased trees and removing trees in young stands to increase quality and growth of remaining trees are examples of management practices the Johnsons have used. John and Connie have also planted many trees and established shortleaf pine and walnut stands. Besides forest management, they have improved wildlife habitat on their land by restoring native grasses and planting foodplots.
John and Connie have held office, served on committees, or been active members of the Missouri Tree Farm Committee, the Missouri Forest Products Association, the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri Walnut Council, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, Drury College Alumni Association, and other forestry and conservation organizations.
As if all this wasn’t enough, the Johnsons have also taught others about good stewardship of the land. They have conducted educational field trips on their property for all ages of students. They have hosted workshops and Tree Farm tours to teach other landowners about proper forest and wildlife management practices.