"The most important thing one person can be to another is radiant and encouraging."
The Bradley/Murphy Forestry and Natural Resources Extension Trust was established in 1992 by an initial gift from forestry consultant, Harry Murphy. The Trust was early led by Murphy- Secretary/Treasurer, Larkin Wade- Chairman, and Lee Laechelt- Vice Chairman; John Bradley was an ex-officio member. Over the years hundreds of grant applications have been evaluated and more than 200 modest grants approved. Upon Harry Murphy’s death in 2011, a significant portion of his Estate was donated to the Trust making an expansion of the grant selection strategy possible.
Harry's unmatched generosity is reflected by his placing the name of his life long business partner and friend before his own when he named the Trust. This seemed appropriate to Harry because John Bradley actually was there first. Bradley was the founder of Southern Timber Management Service, which Harry joined as a partner in 1952. By 1963 when the business name was changed to Resource Management Services, Inc. the small southern consulting forestry firm was well on the way to becoming one of the premier forest management and investment firms in the world.
John Bradley’s philosophy over his 60 years of service to resource owners was that employing a professional, trained forester or resource manager would not so much be a cost, but that it would be a good investment that would produce a good return for the forest owner. And this is the day in and day out, client-by-client standards that men and women who call themselves “consultants” must live by. “Not so much a cost but a good investment that will produce a good return.” This is also the underlying goal of the Trust, which is to improve the management of private forests by encouraging productive business relationships between forest landowners and consulting foresters, and by improving the quality of private services available to forest landowners.
Now named Resource Management Services, LLC the company that Bradley, Murphy and others founded manages about 2.5 million acres of southern timberland, as well as acreage in Brazil, China and other parts of the world. They employ about 70 professional foresters. The economic enterprise of RMS in all of its forms has made it possible for Harry Murphy to have something to give. And Harry had the goodwill to give, to establish the Trust for the purpose of continuing to call attention to the fact that forest resource owners employing forest resource managers is not so much a cost as a good investment that will produce a good return.
The Trust is a 501(c)(3) exempt private foundation, annually files a tax return, invites the public to review its operation, and operates under an approved set of bylaws and constitution.