As Alan Smock manages his southern Indiana forestland, he relies on information from Purdue Extension to help guide his decisions.
Smock of Dubois, Ind., is like many Hoosiers who have learned to be better stewards of their land from research and Extension education programs conducted at the eight Purdue Agricultural Centers throughout the state. Smock points to the applied research-based knowledge the Southern Indiana-Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC) in Dubois County provides to farmers, foresters and forest landowners.
“By providing training, research and information, forest landowners like me have been able to better manage their natural forest resource, which, in turn, helps everyone who uses it,” Smock says.
Research projects at SIPAC include field plantation management, forest regeneration and stand management, Christmas tree management, deer damage control, forest weed control and soil compaction. Established in 1952 from funds contributed by area leaders and other citizens, the 1,300-acre site near the Patoka Reservoir is used extensively in Extension programs because of its accessibility to woodland owners across southern Indiana.
While proper management of forestland helps to generate tax revenue for Indiana from timber sales and the timber-using industry, Smock sees an additional benefit from a well-managed forestry resource, noting, “We are also able to manage our forests for improved wildlife habitat, supporting the hunting and fishing opportunities they provide.”