I established Grossman Forestry Company in 1990 and it has since grown to 8 full time Foresters managing over 375,000 acres of forestland. Most days include time devoted to client, contractor, employee and vendor relations.
"The two most rewarding parts are sharing our passion for Forestry with landowners, and going back into stands we have been managing for 30 years and seeing the results of good forest management. Safe to say, I have my dream job!"
In high school, I was very active in Boy Scouts, so you can picture the kinds of outdoor excursions that went along with that. Considering I had spent a lot of time outside, I knew that in college I would want to do something encompassing that. After graduating high school, I enrolled in the School of Natural Resources at the University of Michigan. My academic advisor recommended Forestry and I was hooked!
After earning my BS in Forestry from “that other school”, I had a variety of Forestry positions. I was Forest Pest Scout for MSU Extension and the DNR, a Contract Tree Planter in Colorado, and Contract Timber Cruiser in Colorado and New Mexico. I then came to MSU in pursuit of a graduate degree. In between my studies, I worked as a Teaching Assistant (TA) and a Resident Assistant (RA). Then, after completing my master’s at MSU, I was a Research Forester for the USFS before finally starting Grossman Forestry Company in 1990.
Nowadays, my time at work is extremely diverse. Grossman Forestry Company was established in 1990 and has grown to 8 full time Foresters managing over 375,000 acres of forestland. Most days include time devoted to client relations, contractor relations, employee relations, reviewing client reports, reviewing quotes for work, preparing quotes, reviewing contracts, working with vendors, data management, etc. Special projects include forest auditing across the Eastern US, carbon market projects, and participation in national policy projects. There is no average day!
Though, my favorite part of my job is being able to get out in the field and do some timber marking, line running, timber sale inspections, etc. at least 1 day per week. However, the two most rewarding parts are (1) sharing our passion for Forestry with landowners, and (2) going back into stands we have been managing for ~30 years and seeing the results of good forest management. Safe to say, I have my dream job!
For those hesitant about pursuing a path in Forestry, I would say that a Forestry education will provide you with a solid foundation. There are many career avenues to take as your life evolves. Job opportunities are diverse and interesting. Even if you don’t stay in the Forestry field, the education you receive is transferable to many related and not so related fields. You will get significant value and employability from a Forestry education. And as a bonus, participate in the Society of American Foresters. Remember to always be positive, work hard, play hard, and treat everyone with respect. Do good work!