Bergeron Tree Farmer
Dr. and Mrs. Ronnie Bergeron, at their Bossier Parish Tree Farm
• New Orleans

Dr. Ronnie Bergeron of Shreveport is the 2013 Louisiana Outstanding Tree Farmer for his 404-acre Blue Hollow tree farm located in Bossier Parish. The award was made during the annual convention of the Louisiana Forestry Association (LFA) Aug. 28 in New Orleans.

Bergeron is a self confessed "outdoor addict" who manages his tree farm for wildlife management enhancement, timber, and recreation. "To work with someone who has this much passion and love for the land is almost unheard of," said Tim Holland of Holland and Mudd Consulting Foresters, who nominated his client for the award. Holland estimated that Bergeron does 90 percent of the field work at the farm.

He started acquiring his land in 1981 and built it up to its present size. Bergeron kept the Blue Hollow name of one of the tracts when he saw a blue-tinted fog drift into a low area of the woods early one morning.

He has a pond stocked with bream and bass and a mixture of upland pine plantations that roll into bottomland hardwoods. During deer, turkey and squirrel season, Dr. Bergeron hosts hunts and an annual men's wildlife dinner called "the Gathering" in the spring.

"You could have told him he was just named king of the world and he couldn't have been any happier," said his wife, Earleen, recalling his reaction to the award.

Bergeron has planted a pecan orchard, has a well-tended garden and he designed mini-spillways using crushed rock to manage his water. He has a well-maintained road system and open areas dedicated to wildlife food plots.

The aesthetic quality of the woods still please him. "The dogwoods in the spring and the red maples in the fall are unbelievable," he said.

Bergeron is a Shreveport dermatologist active in civic affairs and the state medical society.

"Forestry is a $2.8 billion industry in Louisiana," said C.A. "Buck" Vandersteen, LFA executive director. "We are pleased to honor landowners like Ronnie Bergeron who has cared for and improved his land over the last 32 years."