Loggers, foresters partner to provide outreach, education
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Loggers, foresters, wildlife professionals, trade classes and families were well represented at the biannual Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show on Sept. 22 and 23.
Activities, held at Mississippi State University’s John W. Starr Memorial Forest, attracted a range of audiences, all interested in forests, trees and the equipment used to hew them down.
With more than 2,000 attending the first day, the show hosted approximately 3,500 individual registrants altogether. Many of these attendees came both days, bringing attendance numbers close to 5,000. Education was a main focus at the show, with opportunities for professionals to earn continuing education units, or CEUs.
“We offer CEUs on topics that are required by Sustainable Forestry Initiative for qualified contractors,” said John Auel, show manager and Mississippi Forestry Association certification programs coordinator. “This show brings loggers up to date on the most recent innovations, and they have the opportunity to take classes to maintain their qualifications.”
The 2023 installment was the 39th anniversary of the show, which was first held in 1984.
Twenty-one high schools and junior colleges were represented as 455 young people came, visiting trade and insurance booths and viewing equipment displays.
Almost 200 attendees crowded the shady areas to attend the first demo, where Lyle Machinery showcased three pieces of Komatsu equipment, including a log loader, a feller buncher and a swing machine. Marcus Steigerwaldt, director of forest sales and marketing for Komatsu, presented information about each piece while Lyle Machinery employees showcased their capabilities.
“This is one of the reasons we’re glad to be here today: Live demonstration shows give us the opportunity to educate the forest industry as the technology changes,” Steigerwaldt said. “Our machines are getting smarter, more efficient, and are producing more with less fuel every year; a lot has changed in the past five, 10 years. It’s important to share the good news about how much safer logging can be.”
Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show Inc. is a partnership among the Mississippi Forestry Association, MSU Extension Service, MSU College of Forest Resources and Mississippi Loggers Association.