Kingwood Forestry Services is again giving back to the University of Arkansas at Monticello, establishing a $30,000 endowment to help University of Arkansas at Monticello graduate students with their forestry studies.
Kingwood, based in Monticello, provides consultancy to private landowners, including investment, appraisal, site preparation, planting and economic advice. The owners, John McAlpine of Monticello, and Carl Herberg of Texarkana, Texas, said the $30,000 endowment will provide one scholarship per year.
“We expect it to be $1,000 to $1,500 a year going toward the student,” McAlpine said, adding that the funds will be determined by the UAM Foundation on how much will be available depending on the return.
“John and I are both second-generation foresters,” said Herberg. “His dad was a forester; my dad was a forester. When I started in Monticello, it was apparent to me how much UAM was feeding into Kingwood Forestry Service. To this day it feeds a lot of hires and that’s been very beneficial to us as a company.”
Kingwood Forestry Services is a private landowner consultant. The company provides professional forestry services such as investment, appraisal, site prep and planting, hunting leases to and economics advice for private forest landowners.
“We’re very excited about the development of this Kingwood Forestry Fellowship,” said Michael Blazier, dean of UAM’s College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources. “This fellowship will provide some additional financial aid for our graduate students who are coming into do research on topics relevant to the forest industry.
“Kingwood’s relationship with the College of Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources is a really tight one and we are really grateful for their support and encouragement,” said Blazier. “They already provide a scholarship for our undergraduate students. They have always been very facilitating in helping with our teaching.”
Kingwood Forestry manages nearly 400,000 acres in southern Arkansas.
“UAM is a good school because it serves all of south Arkansas which is the core of where a lot of our management tracts are,” Herberg said. “Our headquarters his here in Monticello and it’s important to us to reinvest where it’s going to be most beneficial to the region and the market that serves both Kingwood and the folks in the area that are going to school here.”
Herberg said forestry is attractive to students for many reasons.
“You can be either inside or outside. You can do both urban forestry; you can be in the woods primarily,” he said. “There are state jobs that allow jobs in research, whether you’re a numbers or science person, whether you’re from Chicago or Pine Bluff, Arkansas.
“Our big word is silviculture. The definition of silviculture in short is timber management,” said Herberg. “It’s the art and science of managing a forest. If you’re not big on the science and math part, there is also the art part. It gives you opportunity from both sides of the fence.”
“As a company we like to invest in people. We would like to hire nice sharp people to come and work for us, but even if they go somewhere else in the profession, it helps the overall profession,” McAlpine said. “That’s why we like to invest in education of students who can contribute to our profession.”
McAlpine said he and his wife are both graduates of UAM and his daughter is a UAM student.
McAlpine joined Kingwood Forestry right out of college 24 years ago.
“One of the biggest things we see with this fellowship is to be able to give back to the university and help draw students to this profession,” he said. “This is a profession that we need more deep-thinking graduates; undergraduates as well as graduate students, to help advance and tell the good story that we’re doing in forestry in the state.”
McAlpine, a first-generation UAM student, said that “this is a university where anybody can come and succeed if they are willing to put forth the effort.”
The Kingwood Forestry Fellowship should have enough equity that it will be available by the fall of 2022, said McAlpine. Interested students can apply for the fellowship through the College for Forestry, Agriculture and Natural Resources at [email protected] or call 870-460-1052 for more information.