SALEM, Ohio – Sixty-four members of the Northeast Ohio Forestry Association met recently for the 29th annual banquet and benefit auction.
In recognition of Mahoning County resident Harold Smith helping create the NEOFA in 1962, the ceremony was named the Harold Smith Founder’s Awards.
In 1984, the first award was presented to Harold and Dorothy Smith.
This year’s outstanding woodlot owner award was presented to Doloris and Lyle Bailey.
The Bailey farm dates back to 1900 when Lyle Bailey’s grandparents purchased two farms located in the Lordstown, Ohio, area on Lyntz Road. Bailey moved to the farm as a boy in 1936. A unique feature of this tree farm is that it was all crop land, and then tree planting developed the land into a tree farm.
These plantings began in the mid-1970s as an Eagle Scout project for their sons.
The first sales began in 1982 when 12 white pine trees were sold at Christmas time.
The Christmas tree farm consists of plantings of white, scotch, blue spruce, Canaan fir, Colorado blue and other exotic varieties of conifers on about 16 acres.
The Bailey family employs seasonal help and much of their sales is focused around the holiday season.
Doloris Bailey markets Christmas wreaths for both church and school projects. Her sales are finalized far in advance of the holidays as she personally creates the wreaths herself at the farm.
Henry Marsilio of Boardman, Ohio, was honored for distinguished service with the organization.
Marsilio is currently serving as NEOFA president. He has worked his way up through the ranks of officers, serving in various positions as needed and was president of the organization on one other occasion.
The Marsilio family purchased a 102-acre tree farm between Athens and Marietta, Ohio, in Washington County in 1990. It is 90 percent wooded on unglaciated land and has a park-like setting. Walnut, Virginia pine, dogwood, rose bud and sassafras are found growing on this tree farm. Marsilio was raised near Girard, Ohio, where his love of the country lead him to purchase the tree farm.
An auction was held by Darryl McGuire immediately following the awards ceremony. McGuire is the first vice president on the organization.
Many of the items auctioned were crafted by the members and donated to raise money for students to attend state forestry camp in June.