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Agricultural Marketing Resource Center



Natural and managed forests are one of the most important components of the Earth’s living and climatic systems. Around the world, forestry and the forest-products industry are of major economic importance to rural livelihoods

Forestry is the means by which trees can be produced as a renewable resource for wood or biomass for direct timber sales, production of trees for ornamental plantings or woody material for composite products or for use as a combustion energy source. Integrated into forest management plans may be other resource-management and asset-generation or asset-recovery options. These may involve revenue generation from hunting lease sales, government-sponsored conservation programs, tourism from winter sports access, syrup or mushroom production for food products, educational activities and other strategies.


The United States contains roughly 750 million acres of forested land, and almost 430 million acres, or 60 percent, of that land is privately owned. Those privately owned forests supply over 90 percent of the wood harvested in the United States for the construction of homes and the manufacturing of furniture, paper and other wood products. Federal forests supply only 2 percent of the wood used by the forest products industry.  

The sale of U.S. forest products (not including Christmas trees and maple products) and the number of farms selling them increased between 2002 and 2007. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture (2009), over $595 million of forest products were sold from 47,603 farms. The top five producing states that year were Georgia, $53.6 million; Alabama, $44.2 million; Mississippi, $40.3 million; South Carolina, $27.5 million; and North Carolina, $25.1 million.   August 2012 ... Forestry


  • Forest Landowners Association, Inc. - The members of this organization are independent forest landowners who operate more than 37 million acres of timberland in 47 states. The organization offers all types of property insurance at group rates.
  • National Association of State Foresters - Each state employs a state forester who oversees and manages the forests on state and privately owned lands in their state.
  • National Network of Forest Practitioners - A clearinghouse for information and technical assistance. Provides an extensive set of Web marketing articles, hosts live Web-based seminars (webinars) and offers Web services.
  • National Visitor Use Monitoring Survey, Forest Service, USDA, 2012 - This survey provides estimates of the number of recreational visits to each national forest and describes a number of important characteristics of those visits.
  • National Woodland Owners Association - This nationwide organization is made up of non-industrial private woodland owners. They provide group rates for  woodland and for hunting lease liability insurance. They also provide a limited directory of national private hunting lands.
  • U.S. Forest Products Annual Market Review and Prospects, 2005–2009, Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, USDA, 2007.


  • Family Forestry, New York Times, 2007 - Discusses the future of large tracts of private forest that are about to change hands as aging landowners pass the land to heirs or buyers.
  • Forest Products Laboratory, Forest Service, USDA.
  • Forestry, National Ag Compliance Assistance Center, U.S. EPA.
  • Sales of Forest Products, Income from Farm-Related Sources: 2007 and 2002, 2007 Census of Agriculture, National Ag Statistics Service (NASS), USDA, 2009.
  • A Strategy for Increasing the Use of Woody Biomass for Energy, Forest Markets Committee, National Association of State Foresters, 2008 - This report reviews the status of woody biomass as an energy resource and of the technologies for using it. It focuses on forest-derived wood, including forest residues, mill residues and wood harvested specifically for energy production.
  • Tax Implications of Forest Ownership, Siegel Timber Tax Update, National Woodlands magazine, National Woodland Owners Association, 2008 - Discusses the basic stewardship-related tax incentives for forest land.
  • Timber Harvesting, America's Heartland, Episode 809, November 2012 - For more than a quarter-century, the Baker family has been cutting and hauling timber in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
  • Wood Pellets Catch Fire as Renewable Energy Source, Wall Street Journal, 2009 - A global marketplace is emerging to supply the demand for wood pellets, and the southeastern United States is becoming a major exporter, with pellet factories located in Florida, Alabama and Arkansas.

Businesses/Case Studies

  • Forestry Co-ops Take Root, Rural Cooperatives magazine, USDA Rural Development, 2009 - Describes the Ohio Forestry Cooperative, an organization of Ohio forest landowners. The coop provides services that range from marketing and logging contract preparation to forest management plans.
  • Hiawatha Sustainable Woods Co-op, Fountain City, Wisconsin - Local forest owners banded together to form a timber management, processing and marketing cooperative. Its purpose is to maximize the long-term aesthetic, ecological, economic and recreational benefits from area forest resources.
  • Oregon Woodland Cooperative - Since 1981, this cooperative of woodland owners has been working together to improve, manage and market products from the forest.
  • Wildwood Rustic Furnishings, Shevlin, Minnesota - Duane Shoup makes a living deep in Minnesota's North Woods by custom making split maple and bentwood custom rockers, rustic pine lab benches and more.

Links checked September 2013.


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