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Eger, Hoover, Seifert Honored for Distinguished Forestry Careers

FNR alumna Janet Eger and former FNR faculty/staff members Bill Hoover and John “Jack” Seifert were honored with the John F. Datena Distinguished Forester Service Award at the annual Indiana Forestry and Woodland Owners Association (IFWOA) conference on November 6.

“These three honorees have devoted decades of work to the betterment of Indiana forestry and we can’t thank them enough for their commitment,” IFWOA executive director Liz Jackson said. “Our woodlands are better off due to their efforts.”

The Datena Award recognizes professional foresters who have been highly influential in promoting the forestry profession in a manner that rises above their peers. Honorees have spent their careers making significant and sustained contributions to the betterment of forestry and are recognized by their peers to be leaders. Honorees are selected by a committee of individuals from the Association of Consulting Foresters, the Indiana Society of American Foresters, the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association, and IFWOA.

Throughout her career, Eger has worked to educate private landowners, whether in a one-on-one capacity or as part of various workshops and field days. She has spoken at several soil and water conservation district meetings, taught part of the Purdue Forestry Shortcourse for Landowners, and presented at field days, schools, and Envirothon among others. Eger also has worked with researchers on projects ranging from silviculture applications to forest pest management. Eger, who earned a Bachelor’s of Science in forestry (BSF) from Purdue in 1978, began her 43-year career with the Indiana Division of Forestry under the Young Adult Conservation Corps. She then became a forest technician at Martin State Forest, before working as a resource specialist at the Martin, Ferdinand, Pike, and Greene-Sullivan State Forests, where she was involved in forest inventory, boundary marking, timber marking, sales, timber stand improvement, trail creation and more. For the last 28 years, Eger has worked in the Cooperative Forest Management (CFM) section, assisting private landowners, helping educate them and managing forest and natural resources on their land. She also has served as the State Big Tree Coordinator since 1990.

Janet Eger Headshot.Eger was named Tree Farm Inspector of the Year in 2020, following a National SAF Outstanding Field Forester Award in 2019 and an ISAF Distinguished Service Award in 2017. She also was named Outstanding CFM Forester of the Year for the Northeast in 2012 and was elected as an SAF Fellow in 2006. Eger received the Honor Award from Protect Ecosystems Across Boundaries in 2009 and was selected as the Division of Forestry’s Outstanding Employee of the Year (2003), the Professional Foresters Award (2003), and Outstanding District Forester (2000).

Eger has been a member of the Society of American Foresters for 43 years, and part of the Arbor Day Foundation for 30 years, IFWOA /Indiana Forestry Educational Foundation for 27 years, the White River Resource Conservation and Development forestry committee for 20 years, and the Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management for more than 10 years.

Bill Hoover Headshot.Hoover also worked for the USDA Forest Service three times, first as an intern in the forest economics research unit (1974), and twice as a visiting scientist, in the forest products laboratory (1979) and later in the state and private forestry unit (1982). Hoover is a professor emeritus in the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, following a more than 40-year career as an instructor (1974-76), professor (1976-2015), and assistant department head (1996-2010). Hoover also acted as Purdue FNR’s extension coordinator from 1995 to 2015 and was a visiting professor at the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica in 1991.

In the extension realm, Hoover worked on the application of the Internal Revenue Code to owners of forestland and how tax policies affected the decisions of those owners. He founded the National Timber Tax website and coauthored several editions of the standard reference on the tax treatment of timber published by the Forest Service. He also was part of many publications on forestry-related topics over the years, including the first application of portfolio analysis that included forestland with profession W.L. Mills.

For his efforts, Hoover received the Purdue Cooperative Extension Specialists Association (PUSECA) Career Award in 2011. He was named as a Distinguished Fellow on the Penn State Mont Alto campus in 2008 and a Society of American Foresters Fellow in 2005. In 2002, he was a member of the Purdue Land Use Team which won the Dean’s Team Award. He has been part of Who’s Who in America since 1990 and received the Black Walnut Achievement Award in 1997.

John Seifert headshot.

Seifert has been part of the Indiana Society of American Foresters (ISAF) and IFWOA for more than 40 years. He has worked with the Indiana Forestry Educational Foundation (30 years), the Indiana Tree Farm Committee (26 years), the Walnut Council (25 years), and the National Association of State Foresters and Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Association (16 years). In fact, he spent three years as incoming and past president of the ISAF and also as president of IFWOA. He also served as president of the Woodland Steward Institute and editor of the Woodland Steward Newsletter for 15 years. Seifert worked as an extension forester at Purdue from 1978 to 2005, where he educated landowners and promoted professional forest management through courses, field days, publications and tree-planting seminars. Since 2005 he has been state forester with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Forestry. In his current role, Seifert leads a group of professional foresters in providing management on state forests and assists with private landowners, nursery production and urban forestry needs in order to achieve sustainable forest management practices.

The Datena Award is the latest honor for Seifert, who received the Black Walnut Achievement Award from Walnut Council International in 2004, the Indiana DNR Conservationist of the Year Award in 2003, and the Hardwood Forestry Fund’s Johnny Appleseed Tree Planting Award in 2001. He was named as Purdue FNR’s Outstanding Staff Member in 2000, the Indiana Wildlife Federation’s Forest Conservationist of the Year in 1998, and as a Society of American Foresters’ Fellow in 2002.

The Datena Award is named after former Indiana state forester John F. Datena to honor his commitment to Indiana forestry.

Writer: Wendy Mayer, Communications Coordinator

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