CHARLESTON — Point Pleasant local John Cooper was recently inducted into the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame (WVAFHF) Foundation for the year of 2012.
Cooper, who is 92 years old, along with three other inductees will be honored at the WVAFHF annual banquet on Saturday, July 21, 2012, at Jackson’s Mill. A reception will begin at 5 p.m., followed by a dinner at 6 p.m.
Cooper, who was honored for forestry, was born in 1919 on a small hillside farm in Gilmer County. He received a degree in Agriculture in 1940 from West Virginia University. He volunteered for the U.S. Navy in 1942, and after World War II, worked for the Farmers Home Administration and the U.S. Soil Conservation Service. He made it a lifelong mission to encourage farmers to practice better land use and to reduce erosion on abandoned farmland. In 1973, he started Santa’s Forest Christmas tree farm, which has provided trees to three West Virginia governors. He was elected president of the WV Christmas Tree Growers Association in 1979, and also represented that organization in the National Christmas Tree Growers Association in the early 1980s.
The other three inductees for 2012 are Ralph Beckwith of Slaty Fork (forestry), Harry Stephen Conrad of Brandywine (agriculture), and Mannon E. Gallegly Jr. of Morgantown (agriculture).
It was reported that enshrinement in the WVAFHF is reserved for those individuals, businesses, organizations, institutions, and foundations that have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, advancement and improvement of the agricultural, forestry and family life of West Virginia.
The WVAFHF Foundation will also honor the Barbour County 4-H at the banquet, which is open to the public. Tickets are $30 each and the deadline for reservations is June 24. For information on how to purchase tickets, visit www.wvagriculture.org.