Master Forest Owner Volunteer

Master Forest Owner Volunteer Training 2021

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Have you ever thought about using your knowledge and skill to help your neighbor woodland owners? Join the hundreds of woodland owners who have served their neighbors since 1994.

As a woodland owner you have a special set of skills that you could share with other woodland owners in your area. These skills are enhanced by educational resources available through Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell’s ForestConnect program

Learn how to merge your skills with existing resources so you can be a volunteer that helps other woodland owners more thoroughly enjoy and manage their property. 

You are invited to the annual training for Cornell’s Master Forest Owner (MFO) volunteers. MFO volunteers work through Cornell Cooperative Extension to visit woodland owners in their county and direct them towards resources that help them manage their woodlands. This training is open for new volunteers and previously trained volunteers seeking a refresher.

Training Information:

  • Applicants are invited to participate will join in 7 weekly online sessions via Zoom, and subsequently meet in person in early to mid-June for a one-day field session at locations around the state. 
  • Online sessions are 6:30 – 7:30PM starting on Tuesday April 13 at 6:30PM, and occur each Tuesday through May 25. 
  • In addition to 2 orientation sessions, 5 technical content sessions provide participants increased knowledge about: woodland ecology and health, wildlife and habitat, interfering vegetation management, silviculture, and agroforestry. 
  • Participants should plan to allocate 3-4 hours per week to learn the technical content via guided online learning and spend an hour per week in a live interactive discussion session.
  • All woodland owners in NY are welcome. 

Owners interested in becoming a volunteer should start the process here: 

  • https://cornell.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_3jZyjaz1IoIuktK
  • The fee is $35 per person and $50 per couple which includes the full training, and supplies and resources provided at the field session. 
  • Previously trained volunteers are also welcome at $18 per person and $25 per couple.


For consideration to participate in the training, follow these steps to be completed by April 6:

    1. Complete registration application via the link above, and after reviewing other materials here: https://blogs.cornell.edu/ccemfo/become-an-mfo-volunteer/.
    2. Be alert to an email from your regional director to meet via Zoom after completing your application.
    3. Payment made via a secure online link provided to you after you talk with your regional director.

      Within 6 months of the training:

        1. Have a visit on your property conducted by an existing MFO volunteer
        2. Shadow a visit to a woodland owner in your area with a local MFO volunteer

          If you have any questions about the MFO program, you can learn more at www.CornellMFO.info or from Program Director Peter Smallidge at pjs23@cornell.edu or 607-592-3640.

          Last updated March 2, 2021