In today’s tough economic environment, students have the advantage of a swell of financial support from the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation, which has been providing scholarships and other funding for four decades.

In recent years, the foundation has been giving some $60,000 in scholarships to students in forestry- and forest products-related majors. Next year, the figure will increase to $70,500. An additional $42,000 will be allocated to forestry and youth educational programs across the state.

“We are experiencing a much-needed boom in scholarships,” said Janaki Alavalapati, head of the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation. “Our students are passionate about sustainability and the future of our planet. We’re grateful to the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation for the opportunity to help fund their education.”

Alumnus John Farmer (’53 B.S. in forestry) has long served as the foundation’s president. “We’re happy to make an increasingly meaningful contribution to forestry education at Virginia Tech, and we work hard to raise the funds to do so,” he said.

The foundation is also a major funder of Project Learning Tree, a national environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation that can be adapted for audiences from preschool through high school. Virginia Tech students help teach Project Learning Tree classes in public schools across the state.

“The foundation’s scholarships are a significant contribution to the total scholarship funds available to our students,” said Dean Stauffer, the college’s associate dean of academic programs. “All scholarships are valued and appreciated.”

“Funding forestry’s future is the reason we award scholarships to students in the various disciplines,” Farmer explained. “They go on to ensure that forests are sustainably managed, which provides the base for a strong forest products industry and ensures the continuation of the many ecosystem services forests provide. Forestry is a huge economic engine for the state as well as the country.”

Contact John Farmer at or 804-754-0205 for more information about the educational objectives of the Virginia Forestry Educational Foundation.