Photo by Dr. Wally Woods. Students in Haywood Community College’s Fish and Wildlife program recently traveled to Sweetwater Farms in Georgia. Through this trip, students participated in numerous hands-on activities much like technicians in the field do on a day-to-day basis. Pictured participating in a prescribed burn is student Adam Powell.


Students in the Haywood Community College fish and wildlife program took hands-on learning to a whole new level and a different state recently when they traveled to Sweetwater Farms, a 4,000 tract of land in South Georgia. Through this trip, students got an up-close look at some of the opportunities available in the field of fish and wildlife and participated in numerous hands-on activities, much like technicians in the field do on a day-to-day basis. In addition, this invaluable experience provided opportunities that some of these students would otherwise not have.

Students participated in prescribed fires, trapping, and hook and line sampling, as well as tour the seasonal wildlife management operations happening on the property.

According to Dr. Wally Woods, HCC fish and wildlife instructor, Sweetwater Farms is the largest trophy managed tract that is a conservation wetland reserve program east of the Mississippi River. “It is a natural resources management heaven with tons of active management for game and nongame wildlife, timber operations, wetland preservation, fire ecology, habitat restoration and trophy fisheries,” he explains. “For this trip, we focused on experiencing the use of fire as a management tool. We were able to burn over 100 acres as a class, including several different timber types such as longleaf, hardwood, clear cuts and others. This gave the students a rare and awesome chance to see firsthand how fire behaves in different cover types.”

HCC’s fish and wildlife management technology associate degree is accredited by the North American Wildlife Technology Association and is currently the only one offered statewide. For more information, please call 828-627-4626 or visit

Registration for summer and fall semesters is underway now for both new and continuing students. With a variety of associate, diploma, and certificate programs to choose from, students can take the first step in realizing that education changes everything. Career counseling services are available for guidance. For more information on enrollment, programs of study or financial aid, call 828.627.2821 or visit