Mississippi State’s student chapter of the Society of American Foresters is once again the best in the nation. The chapter competed with 75 chapters nationally for the recognition.
This is not the first national championship win for the 28-member organization, placing in the top three over the last 11 years.
Led by MSU associate forestry professor Robert Grala, the chapter is judged on service to members, the community, and the forestry program, among other criteria. Grala notes that service is one of the key components in the chapter’s goals.
"We are involved in several community projects including Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-Highway, and Project Learning Tree," Grala said. "The chapter also provides professional involvement for members including attendance at professional meetings and guest speakers from the forest industry."
All senior forestry majors, the 2011-12 officers include president Greg Bentley of Starkville, vice president Jonathan Stoll of Columbus, secretary David Ohlrich of Athens, Ala., and treasurer William Hunter of Brandon.
Founded in 1900, SAF is the world’s largest professional organization for foresters. Its 18,000 active members are engaged in a variety of programs to improve the health, productivity and use of the nation’s forestlands.
The chapter will receive the award during the organization’s nation convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, in November.