Monroe County is home to tree farmer of year

John and Bess Lusk tree farm owners
John and Bess Lusk are the owners of Whispering Ridge Tree Farm, which was recently named the 2018 Ohio Tree Farm of the Year. Whispering Ridge Tree Farm is located in Monroe County in eastern Ohio, and the public is invited to attend a field day at the farm Oct. 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Submitted photo)

COLUMBUS — Whispering Ridge Tree Farm, located in Monroe County, in eastern Ohio and owned by John and Bess Lusk, has been named the 2018 Ohio Tree Farm of the Year by the Ohio Tree Farm Committee, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The Lusks have actively managed their 135-acre woodland in rugged Woodsfield for the past 23 years. The property features diverse plant communities and scenic rock outcroppings overlooking steep ravines.

John and Bess have coordinated closely with the ODNR Division of Forestry’s service foresters throughout the years to implement good stewardship of the land. They have also worked to ensure future generations will be able to benefit from sound forest management.

Field day

A public field day is planned for Oct. 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Whispering Ridge Tree Farm to highlight conservation practices with demonstrations by forestry and wildlife experts. Guided walking tours will be provided via trail systems that highlight unique areas of the woodland, including examples of completed timber stand improvement projects and a small-scale maple syrup operation.

The field day will be held rain or shine so people are encouraged to dress for the weather and for hiking in the woods. Pre-registration is appreciated, by emailing with the number of participants attending.

Parking will be available at the Swiss Hills Career Center, with buses shuttling participants to the tree farm. The parking address for the Swiss Hills Career Center is 46601 State Route 78, Woodsfield. To learn more, visit


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