Barrons '15 Tree Farmers
Dr. Joseph & Charlotte Barron, at their farm house
in Spearsville, are Outstanding Louisiana tree Farmers.
They are pictured viewing a story in Progressive Farmer
magazine, a story written by his father who was named
a Master Farmer in 1957
Dr. Joseph Barron and his wife Charlotte were presented the 2015 Louisiana Outstanding Tree Farmer for his 667-acre tree farm located in Union Parish. The award was made during the annual convention of the Louisiana Forestry Association (LFA) Aug. 26 in Lake Charles.

Dr. Barron is an ophthalmologist in Monroe during the week but he and his wife take off for Spearsville on Fridays to his childhood home that he has turned into a Tree Farm.

"I think this place is unique because Dr. Barron is dedicated to trying to keep his family heritage alive," said Toby Hammons, who works with the Barrons through the Landowner Assistance Program for Weyerhaeuser.

The tree farm property consists of five tracts of land that were passed down from both sides of Barron's family. Farming was the occupation of his father although he planted loblolly pines as well. Today timber management is his main goal but he is interested in protection of soil, water, wildlife and unique sites as well.

The activities on the property are diverse: he had selective log thinning and pole removal on 100 acres this year and fuel chipping of 100 acres last year. Two tracts cleared in 2004 and 2006 were reforested and a small area near the farmhouse is being transformed into a native grass/wildflower meadow.

Though he is not a hunter, he has good habitat for wildlife and watershed management. He leases out a small part of the farm for hunting and extended family also use it.

Barron said it is the sentimental value of his homeplace that ties him to the land.

He labors during the day on his various projects and marvels at the dark sky out in his forest at night.

Accolades for the Barrons came from C.A. "Buck" Vandersteen, executive director of the Louisiana Forestry Association. "Landowners like the Barrons keep the $11 billion forestry industry in the state alive and vibrant," he said.