A forestry timber tax specialist at Mississippi State University was named Extension Forester of the Year by the Forest Landowner Association.
Debbie Gaddis, associate Extension professor in the College of Forest Resources, received the honor at the recent annual meeting of the organization in San Antonio, Texas.
A native of Mississippi, Gaddis received her bachelor's degree in forestry from MSU, a master's of business administration from Millsaps College and doctoral degree from North Carolina State University. Before joining the MSU faculty in 1999, Gaddis worked as an industrial forester for International Paper.
Gaddis has successfully developed a Timber Tax Fundamentals Short Course that has been presented to more than 1,000 people. Participants have estimated a tax savings of $12 million through deductions.
Additionally, Gaddis was instrumental in assisting with casualty loss information to Southern landowners after Hurricane Katrina, speaking at 15 county meetings in six weeks.
"Dr. Gaddis understands the needs of forest landowners and professionals in managing timber resources in the state," said Jim Shepard, head of the forestry department. "After Katrina, she set up a professional training workshop for foresters to manage partially destroyed pine and hardwood stands."
Gaddis is a member of the Forest Landowners Tax Council, Mississippi Forestry Association, Society of American Forester, Forest Landowners Association, and the Mississippi Farm Bureau. In addition to teaching classes in the College of Forest Resources, Gaddis serves as the faculty advisor for the college's alumni association.