Next year, Tammy Cushing, an Extension forest business specialist at Oregon State University, will become the third woman to serve as president of the largest professional society of foresters in the world.

Cushing is currently serving a one-year term as vice president of the Society of American Foresters (SAF), which represents and serves 12,000 forestry professionals in the United States.

“SAF has served as a common thread throughout my career, allowing me to connect with other professionals, and it will be an honor to serve as president in 2020,” Cushing said. “I look forward to working with our members to further the mission of SAF. I’m particularly excited about creating a mechanism for foresters to reach out to recent college graduates who have relocated to their area. This will create a support system for our young professionals and increase member engagement.”

Cushing is the Starker Chair of Private and Family Forestry and an assistant professor in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management. Her research focuses on financial decision-making and tax impacts on private forest landowners. In addition to teaching, she has responsibilities in the OSU Extension Service’s Forestry & Natural Resources Program related to educating forest landowners and professionals about the business side of forestry including economics, policy, and management. 

Cushing was named a fellow of SAF in 2017 and served as the convention chair for the SAF National Convention, held in Portland.

“Serving as SAF president is a great honor for Tammy and also for Oregon State University,” said Jim Johnson, OSU Extension forestry program leader. “Tammy is a national leader in her field and is widely sought for tax advice by landowner associations across the country. We are proud to have her here as our Starker Chair in Private and Family Forestry.”

Prior to joining OSU in 2014, Cushing was on the faculties of Clemson University and the University of Kentucky. She was also a forest economist at F&W Forestry Services Inc., a major international consulting firm based in Georgia.

Cushing holds a doctorate in forest finance from the University of Georgia, a master's in forest economics and a master of taxation from Mississippi State University, and an undergraduate degree in forestry from the University of Florida.

SAF was founded in 1900 with the objective “to further the cause of forestry in America by fostering a spirit of comradeship among foresters; by creating opportunities for a free interchange of views upon forestry and allied subjects; and by disseminating a knowledge of the purpose and achievements of forestry.” Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, served as the society’s first president.

SAF publishes the Journal of Forestry and The Forestry Source newspaper. In 1994, SAF created the Certified Forester program—the national certification program for foresters and other natural resources professionals.

~ Chris Branam