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Troy to host TREASURE Conference

The Alabama TREASURE Forest Association Conference and Tour will be held in Troy Sept. 17 and 18, 2010 and will be hosted by the ATFA Pike County Chapter, which has the largest membership in the state.

Claire Murphy, Chapter publicity chair, said hosting the conference is both a great honor and a huge responsibility for the local chapter of the ATFA.

“We are excited to host the conference and tour this year, which is ‘The Year of Family and Friends,’” Murphy said. “At each Alabama TREASURE Forest Association conference, there are opportunities to make friends with like minded people and to explore new and exciting topics of special interest. The conferences are educational, motivational and inspirational.”

The planning committees have been meeting to lay the groundwork for the two-day event.

“Bringing a conference like this to Troy takes a great deal of planning and many volunteers are needed,” said John Dorrill, president of the AFTA and event chairman.

“We have selected the location, the learning sessions and the tour. All conference activities on Friday, Sept. 17 will be at Cattleman Park. Session topics will include ‘The Role Birds of Prey Play,’ ‘Feral Hog Management,’ and ‘Self Reliance and Sustainability on Your Land.’”

Friday’s activities will also include an afternoon performance by the Troy University Rodeo Team and the ATFA Banquet and Auction that night.

The TREASURE Forest tours are always a highlight of the conferences and this year’s tour will feature Gene and Jana Renfroe’s TREASURE Forest called JOYES.

“The Renfroe farm is located in the hills and hollows of Pike County,” Dorrill said. “Those who join the tour will see and learn how wildlife, recreation, timber management and aesthetic beauty can be great educational opportunities.”

The early bird registration fee for the conference is $85 before Aug. 19 and $99 thereafter. The fee for those ages 19 and under is $25. Registration includes, the Friday luncheon, all sessions, banquet, auction, rodeo and tour. Register on line at http://www.atfa.net or call 675-7481 local or 1-888-240-4694 toll free.

Joining Pike County as planning partners will be the Crenshaw and Dale county chapters, the Pike County Cattlemen’s Association, Alabama Farmers Federation, USDA Farm Service Agency, Alabama Forestry Commission, Alabama Cooperative System, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Roy Jordan, past president of the ATFA Pike County Chapter, said that he has wanted to bring the conference to Troy for years.

“The Pike County Chapter is the largest in the state and Troy has so much to offer so it will be great to have the ATFA Conference here,” he said.