The Rural Scene Fall 2018

Page 6


MANAGING THE FOREST FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT. Three generations of Neeley family foresters serving landowners, sustaining forests and looking to the future. Story by Jill Robertson; Photos by Jill Robertson & Lindsey Triplett

A shared passion for managing timberland, serving landowners and sustaining forested areas fuels the successful, full-service forestry management business owned and operated by three generations of the Neeley family in Camden, Arkansas. Founded by patriarch Jim Neeley in 1972, Neeley Forestry Services provides timber management and real estate services to clients in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Jim launched the business with the vision of, “Managing the forest from one generation

to the next.” This ideal is the firm’s goal and mission statement still today. The company has managed area forests for 46 years. Interestingly, their mission statement has taken on increased meaning as three generations of Neeleys now work side-by-side as foresters in the family business.


Father, son and grandson share another bond, as well. They love the outdoors, hunting and fishing, and sustaining forests for future generations.

Their History The Neeley family settled in Ouachita County in the 1850s. The original homestead has been in the family for six generations. As a child, Jim Neeley remembers his father Floyd, Sr. buying timber and working with regional sawmills. Jim earned his forestry degree from Arkansas Agricultural and Mechanical College (now The University of Arkansas at Monticello) – forging a path that both his son and grandson have followed. To assist his father, Jim says he began managing tracts of private timberland in college. He worked for major timber and paper companies upon graduation. “In those early jobs I recognized that landowners could benefit from both representation and good advice,” Jim explains.

PHOTO ON RIGHT – A cabin on the original Neeley homestead is the center of family gatherings.