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Undergraduate Student

Turner Crawford

Senior, Forestry

  • Forest Operations and Business
  • Minor: Agriculture and Applied Economics

Nature has always been a big part of my life; living on the river and being surrounded by avid hunters has shaped me for a career that had me in the outdoors. In high school, I worked on a produce farm and volunteered for my local fire department. On the farm, I loved the physical labor, being outside, and the satisfaction of seeing a field cleared of weeds, not to mention the free fresh fruit and the fun of the farmer’s markets on Saturdays! As for the firefighting, what could be a better adrenaline rush than helping people and running into burning buildings?! While I enjoyed the farm, I knew it was not my career and, unfortunately, I slowly fell out of volunteer firefighting in high school due to band, soccer, cross country, and other sports.

Then one day my father needed help cruising a piece of timber. That day I got the best and worst of the forestry business. I got entangled in briars, ticks, and poison ivy, but I also saw deer, rabbits, and bald eagles. For me, the positives more than made up for the negatives. I quickly decided to apply to Virginia Tech (after a football game or two) and pursue a career in forestry.

In spring 2010, I joined Forestry Club and quickly became involved in all of their activities, especially the timber sports. After trying all of them, I found I most enjoyed single buck, water boil, pole climb, and ax throw, and have competed in most of them at various colleges. My sophomore year, I joined the student chapter of Society of American Foresters and wished I had joined it earlier. I was elected secretary in my junior year and currently serve as vice president.

It might seem like I would be well on my way to a career as a forester cruising timber; however, this past summer I had the opportunity to reignite my interest in firefighting and do a ride-along with a professional firefighter. I absolutely loved it. Since that experience, I have decided to become a professional firefighter and part-time forester. I plan to begin EMT and firefighter courses in spring 2013 through Virginia Tech as well as local classes through the community.

Between my Forestry Club activities, SAF duties, EMT training, and the Leadership Institute, I have a full plate this year, and I am looking forward to the challenge of making everything work.

Honors and Awards

  • National Wild Turkey Federation Scholarship
  • Dean’s List, fall 2010

25th Anniversary

Celebrating 25 Years

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