Tarkington Named Division Forester of the Year
- Annual award is Division of Forestry’s highest honor -
NASHVILLE – Ward Tarkington was recently named the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry’s Forester of the Year. The award is presented annually to a division forester who exemplifies the highest level of professionalism in serving the citizens and forest landowners of Tennessee.
“The citizens of Tennessee are fortunate to have such a dedicated individual working to improve the sustainability and quality of our forests through the use and integration of technology,” said recently retired State Forester Steven Scott.
Ward was born and raised in the Nashville area. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry Resource Management from the University of Tennessee in 2002. Upon completing his degree he joined the division doing geographic information system analysis work for the 15 state forest properties managed by the division. Following four years in that position, Ward was identified for his leadership skills and qualities and was promoted to the Data & Technology Unit Leader position where he has been since.
“I really enjoy working for the division. I like the people I get to work with – we’re like a family. Mostly what I like about my job is that I get to help the guys in the field by integrating technology to make their jobs easier and more efficient. They are the ones serving our customers – the citizens of Tennessee. I try to make it easier for them to do that.”
Ward and his wife, Jennifer, have two kids, a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, plus one on the way. Ward’s father works for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency as a fiscal director and his mother is a retired Metro school teacher. Outside of work, Ward enjoys spending time in the outdoors and family activity.