GA-TACF Annual Membership Meeting 2021

Please join our Annual Georgia Chapter Member Meeting on May 22, 2021, 10 am – 12 noon (via Zoom; details and URL at the bottom of this page)

Our special invited speaker will be Dr. Donald Davis, founding GA-TACF chapter president and author of the upcoming book “The American Chestnut”.  The agenda is copied below, and everyone (members and non-members alike) is invited to attend!  We’d love to “see” you all there!

Welcome and overview of 2020 and plans for 2021 (Kathy Patrick, President)

  1. Membership
  2. Outreach
  3. Transitions in leadership and member involvement         


  1. Review and approval of May 2020 annual meeting minutes
  2. Treasurer’s report
  3. Volunteers needed
    1. Social media
    2. Email
    3. Community outreach
    4. Wild tree cataloging/mapping
    5. Test/demo orchard coordinator
  4. Board member changes
    1. Thanks to Dale Higdon, John French, and Steve Barber, who have completed their terms
    2. Nominations and vote for new board members
      1. Vincent Payne (who is willing to serve as treasurer)
      2. Caitlin Conn (transitioning to the GA-TACF science coordinator position)
      3. David Keehn (founding board member)

Guest speaker –Dr. Don Davis

We are thrilled to include Dr. Don Davis as our guest speaker.  A founding member of the Georgia Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation who served as chapter president from 2006 to 2008, Don is an independent scholar, author, and former Fulbright fellow.  His book, “The American Chestnut”, to be released in September, tells the story of the American chestnut from Native American prehistory through the Civil War and the Great Depression. Don documents the tree’s impact on nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American life, including the decorative and culinary arts. The book discusses the importation of chestnut blight and the tree’s decline as a dominant species, and evaluates efforts to restore the American chestnut to its former place in the eastern deciduous forest, including modern attempts to genetically modify the species.  

Don’s talk will cover:

  1. the evolutionary history of the species
  2. the impact of chestnuts on Native American culture
  3. Henry David Thoreau’s relationship with the tree
  4. uses in furniture-making, building construction, tanning, and city-scaping
  5. the true origins of the chestnut blight fungus 
  6. the U.S. chestnut revival and restoration efforts 
  7. genetic resistance and the use of biotechnology to save the species

Don is currently employed by the Harvard Forest as a part-time research scholar and lives in Washington, D.C.

Introduction of Jamie van Clief, TACF Southern Regional Science Coordinator

Jamie is a former TACF intern and joins the organization as a full-time employee in June, 2021

Thank you Tom Saelli for serving as interim RSC to the Georgia Chapter!

Chapter Science Brief

  1. Martin Cipollini — overview of state-wide breeding program and near-term plans
  2. John French – Flint North Ridge Phytophthora screening orchard and allied projects
  3. Scott Merkle – somatic embryogenesis (cloning) and transgenic work at UGA

GA-TACF Volunteer of the Year Award

Zoom Link: Meeting ID: 912 2100 3068

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Meeting ID: 912 2100 3068

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Meeting ID: 912 2100 3068