The 2003 Distinguished Service Award of the Virginia Forestry Association (VFA) was recently awarded to Harry Haney, Garland Gray Professor and Extension Specialist in the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech.
VFA's Distinguished Service Award was created to recognize individuals, groups, associations, or corporations that have made a significant, continuing, and lasting contribution to the conservation of Virginia's forest resources and to the enhancement of Virginia's forest-based community. The recipient of VFA's Distinguished Service Award is an individual who exemplifies the qualities of leadership, commitment, integrity, and good citizenship in his own work.
In addition to teaching, research, and extension Haney is a fourth-generation forest landowner. For more than 28 years, he has been assisting forest landowners in how to manage timber properties to achieve their objectives and how to transfer holdings to their heirs with minimum tax disruptions. He will be president of the Forest Landowners Association from 2003-2005.
The long-time professor is the author of four landowner guides on income tax, investment analysis, estate planning, and conservation easements. In addition, he has conducted more than 500 programs on these topics and written more than 135 technical publications on forestry. Haney has counseled thousands of southern landowners on a myriad of problems.
"Perhaps the most publicly visible mark of Haney's commitment," says Harold Burkhart, a University Distinguished Professor and forestry department head, "is Harry's bus tour program, where he offers forest owners and members of the public educational tours of several tree farm tours each fall throughout Virginia. These tours provide up-to-date practices and solutions to contemporary problems."
After graduating with a forestry degree from Auburn University, Haney flew helicopters for three years for the U.S. Army. He then spent three years working as a procurement forester and a logging supervisor in Choctaw County, Alabama, before working two years as a forest manager for St. Regis Paper Co. in Florida.
He decided to go back to school and earn a master's degree in forestry from Yale University in 1969 and continued on for a Ph.D. in forest economics at Yale, he joined the Department of Forestry at Virginia Tech in 1975. "His work experience, educational background, common sense, and outgoing personality have enabled him to establish one of the most outstanding forest economics and timberland tax-extension programs in the nation," adds Burkhart. "To the extent that I have been successful in forestry and in life," notes Haney; "I give a large part of the credit to my tree farm partner and wife, Jackie."
Haney has received numerous honors for his work, including the national Technology Transfer and Extension Award from the Society of American Foresters, Man of the Year in Forestry Award from the VFA, and the Outstanding Forestry Alumnus Award from Auburn University. He was the first Extension faculty member of the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Tech awarded a named professorship and the first forestry faculty member to receive the university's Alumni Extension Award.