Why Be a Tree Farmer?

Protecting and enhancing Virginia's forest resources

Family Legacy

We know that the health of America's forests is not simply an environmental concern; it is about families, a cultural legacy, and a way of life. Participating in the Tree Farm Program gives families a sense of pride of ownership that can be passed down generation after generation.


For generations, American landowners have proudly posted the familiar green and white Tree Farm sign as evidence of their commitment to practicing sustainable forestry. The sign represents good stewardship and tells the community that the landowner is protecting our country's forest heritage. ATFS certified landowners are models for other woodland owners who want to be better stewards of their land.


Tree Farmers promote neighbor-to-neighbor learning and promote stewardship values to sustain America's family forests. ATFS's network of 4,500 volunteers in 42 states (200 volunteers in Virginia) provides on‐the‐ground support and professional advice to woodland owners. ATFS supports a professional forestry infrastructure that enables woodland owners to meet their stewardship objectives with confidence. In addition, Tree Farmers have opportunities to participate in state and national events that promote the importance of private family forest owners to America's economic and environmental health.


Membership in ATFS gives woodland owners the tools they need to have confidence they are doing right by their land. Through the Virginia Tree Farm Program and ATFS, landowners have access to seminars, field days, workshops, and forest management information. Members meet with a professional forester at least once every 5 years. Our goal is to help landowners get more good forestry on more acres and keep it there.

Third-Party Certification

Certified members have access to the only affordable certification system available for private landowners. ATFS certification is internationally recognized and meets strict third-party verification and auditing standards. The Tree Farm sign is the sign of good stewardship.


The Virginia Tree Farm Program, along with ATFS, represents the interests of woodland owners to industry, trade associations, and state and federal policymakers. We are your voice in Washington, D.C., advocating for policies that will support your forest stewardship.

Public Outreach

ATFS educates the public about the unique and critical role private woodland forest owners play in providing all Americans with multiple benefits such as clean air and clean water, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and ways to connect children to the natural world.