Jared Beauchamp and Jim Fleming will be taking over the responsibilities that go along with being a forester to Madison County.
The two new foresters will be dividing Madison County up between themselves as they both manage other counties as well.
Beauchamp serves the forestry service and rural communities in Lafayette County, part of Dixie County and now a portion of Madison County.
Beauchamp has held multiple positions and professions. Kicking off his career young, Beauchamp began working at Florida Rock Industries in Gulf Hammock, Fl. right out of high school.
In 1999, Beauchamp joined the United States Navy Seabees and served five years with tours in both Iraq and Kuwait before returning home and taking a job at Maddox Foundry in Archer, Fl. He joined the Florida Forest Service in 2006 as an operations forester. Not settling there, Beauchamp attended the University of Florida and after graduation, he became a county forester.
Jim Fleming is a forestry veteran, having been in the Florida Forest Service since 1965, only breaking his 51-year service during 1969 and 1972 while he was in the Marines.
Fleming oversees the Taylor County and western portions of Madison and Dixie County as senior forester.
Previously, Fleming had been employed as a combat engineer.
Getting into the forestry service was second instinct for both men, as Fleming grew up in a paper-mill town “and had many friends and family who were foresters or in the wood business.”
Beauchamp had previous experience prior when he started with the Division of Forestry due to being involved in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) and the Forestry Judging Contest.
“The work I was doing on the state forests helped me make the choice that [this] is what I wanted to do,” said Beauchamp. “[I wanted] to help people manage their forests.”
The day-to-day functions of a county forester may vary regarding the situations and scenarios of that date. Fleming and Beauchamp often assist landowners with their questions regarding traditional and urban forestry and provide information for management plans. “[We] assist the landowners with tree health, wildlife management, exotic plants and pets,” said Beauchamp. “[We also assist] with ways to manage forests through either a traditional or sustainable stewardship management plan.”
Beauchamp is frequently involved in classrooms, often lending his expertise to wildfire suppression and helping teachers in various schools in the communities he serves with their classroom projects involving tree and plant biology; in addition, he lends his hand to FFA and 4-H members on a regular basis. Planting trees for Arbor Day celebrations in local communities is one of the many societal services he gives his time to.
While Beauchamp is a newcomer to Madison County, as he was raised in Hamilton and Levy Counties, Fleming is quite familiar with Madison. Fleming’s wife of 47 years, Celeste Fleming, is a virtual class teacher for Madison County Central School. Together they have three daughters; two who live in Tallahassee and one who lives in Pasco County as well as six grandchildren.
Fleming says the part about his job he loves the most is assisting private landowners with their forestry needs.
That factor of their responsibilities as foresters is along the lines of Beauchamp’s passion for his job as well. “Giving back to FFA by teaching and coaching the forestry judging contest [is one of my favorite parts of being in the forestry industry],” said Beauchamp.