The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) has named Athens resident Jeff Kastle its 2021 Forester of the Year.
The honor is given annually to a GFC forester who exemplifies the agency’s mission to provide leadership, service, and education in the protection and conservation of Georgia’s forest resources.
“It gives us great pleasure to recognize Jeff with this important award,” said Georgia Forestry Commission Director Tim Lowrimore. “Jeff has been a valued employee for 13 years and has served many hundreds of forest landowners statewide. He knows Georgia forests inside out, freely shares his knowledge with landowners and colleagues, and brings a high degree of effort and detail into his work. He’s definitely one of our shining stars.”
Kastle is a 1994 graduate of the University of Georgia who holds a degree in Forestry. Before joining GFC he worked as a forestry consultant and was a timberland manager for Temple-Inland.
Kastle was selected as Forester of the Year for his consistent output of casework, including 265 landowner assists, Forest Stewardship Plans for 2,657 acres, and six prescribed burns. Kastle participated in the Georgia Freshman Legislative Tour, FFA Forestry Field Day, timber marking with the State Lands Departments, and various Best Management Practices exams and inspections. In addition, Kastle is known as a co-worker who always makes himself available to serve as a mentor and coach to younger, less experienced foresters.
When he’s not providing forest services to Georgians, Kastle may be found globe-trotting. He is an avid amateur photographer who has traveled to Australia and is making plans to visit France, Scotland, and Spain.
“Being recognized with this award is very humbling and a huge compliment,” said Kastle. “I enjoy helping people and this gives me something more to live up to.”
For more information about services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit gatrees.org.