It's All About You

By Darnell Pinson

Society of American Foresters (SAF) National Conventions aren’t just about content (although the content offered is great), but they are also about the community and the people who attend them. No two SAF conventions are the same and each event is a unique experience. Let’s explore some of the reasons to attend convention as an SAF member, and if you’re not a member, how to join and unlock those convention-related benefits!

Members receive discounts on registration, providing them the opportunity to meet up with old friends and connect with new ones. Conventions bring together people that share a common interest from all different geographical areas, technical backgrounds, and cultural experiences.

What better place to share ideas, get valuable feedback and connect with peers! Of course, it goes without saying that networking is a two-way street, but it’s easy in a community that understands and shares the same values.

Convention offers members the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a new field or discipline. The technical program brings together thought leaders that share boots on the groundwork, unpublished data, case studies, and stories from the woods.

Through SAF’s Expo and tradeshow, members can talk one-on-one with exhibitors, glimpse into the latest trends, and peek at what others are working on.

Interested in learning more? Hear from members about why they attend SAF National Convention and the many perks that are involved with being an SAF member:

1. Travel Opportunities 

I love all the travel that is associated with attending SAF National Conventions, regional meetings, and state-chapter events. Traveling connects me to new people, new cultures, new forests, and new ways of thinking about forest utilization, management, and conservation. I also love that SAF is largely a member-driven organization. The conventions, meetings, publications, accreditation reviews, professional tours, etc. would not be possible without the help of hundreds of hard-working volunteers, many of whom make multi-year commitments to the organization. – James Savage, Gold Member, NY SAF

2. Continued Learning 
The opportunity to interact and learn from diverse and experienced forestry professionals. SAF National Convention brings together the industries, researchers, and students together under a common platform to know the present and future developments in the forestry sector. A venue for future collaborations. The active discussions in various working groups and chapters help to gain a better understanding of field conditions. The Forestry Source (news for forest resource professionals) is a good source to gain knowledge and to know about career development opportunities. The webinars organized help me in continuing forestry education. – Ashish Alex, Student Member, NESAF 

3. And More! 

The ability to stay up to date with the best forestry knowledge, education, training, policy, and trends. The professional forestry social atmosphere at conventions. The political support through national briefs and handouts on controversial forestry and environmental topics. Forestry education quality and credentials.
– Courtney (Compton) Willitts, Full Member, Allegheny SAF
At SAF and Convention, there is something for everyone! Not a member? Join the Society of American Foresters today. Visit our website for membership information.

Darnell Pinson is the Director of Membership at SAF. For more information about membership opportunities and convention registration, email [email protected].