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FORESTS Summer 2017


Timber Titan Morris Seymour is a Former AFA President Logger Jimmy Hester Knows a Thing or Two About Logging Conservative Democrat Elaine Hill Beech is Someone You Can Count on Spotlight Davis-Garvin Insurance Agency


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Summer 2017 | Volume 61 | Number 4


Alabama Forestry Association, Inc. Chris Isaacson, Executive Vice President OFFICERS Chairman .. . ............................ . Gary Skipper President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vaughn Stough President-Elect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hank Bauer Secretary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stephan Tomlinson Treasurer .. . . ..........................Tom Bradley III


Communicating news & information of, about, and for the Alabama forestry community.

DISTRICT DIRECTORS Black Belt District ......................Doug Bowling Capitol District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jim Solvason Delta District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vacant Longleaf District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phillip Smith Mountain District ....................... . . Allen Keller Piedmont District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Langley Valley District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DeWayne Oakley Vulcan District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trae Bonner Warrior District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Johnson Wiregrass District . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vacant ALC REPRESENTATIVE Chris Potts FOREST FUND REPRESENTATIVE Kevin Kennedy FORESTRY LEADERS REPRESENTATIVE Gee Allgood AT-LARGE DIRECTORS Al Bracewell Terry Bussey Ray Colvin David Leibold Ryan Mattei Patricia Moody Mena McGowin Morgan Lenn Morris Guice Slawson, Jr. Clay Thomas ALABAMA FORESTS EDITOR Sam Duvall GREEN HORIZONS EDITOR Leigh Peters GRAPHIC DESIGN Kortni M. Ray Alabama Forests (USPS #025-358) is an official publication of the Alabama Forestry Association, 555 Alabama Street, Montgomery, AL 36104-4359 and is published five times a year. The AFA reserves the exclusive right to accept or reject advertising or editorial material submitted for publication. Advertising rates quoted upon request. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Ala. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Alabama Forestry Association, 555 Alabama St., Montgomery, AL 36104-4395.



FEATURES Morris Seymour Procurement Maestro Logger Jimmy Hester

8 12

Conservative Democrat Elaine Hill Beech 18 Spotlight Davis-Garvin Insurance Agency 20 In Memoriam 33


Especially for our tree farmers/landowners: Green Horizons 24

Above is an active loading dock of logger Jimmy Hester featured on page 12. Pictured at left is Morris Seymour when he was a young U.S. Army soldier. Morris is our Titan feature starting on page 8.

DEPARTMENTS From the Executive Vice President 5 Dean’s Notebook 7 Spotlight Davis-Garvin Insurance Agency 20 News & Views 35 Advertisers’ Index 38


Doe and Yearling. This mother white-tailed deer and yearling are examples what it takes to have a good deer herd. When the does and yearlings are in good habitat and healthy you can count on there being plenty of quality deer on your land. Photo by Tes Jolly.

Connect with us on

25 Above are Glenn and Scarlet Riley of the Barnes Community in Henry County who were recently named Southern Regional Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year. We wish them great luck in the competition for National Tree Farmer of the Year honors!

and see what’s new on our web site alaforestry.org



From Executive Vice President

Investment Opportunities


ollowing graduation from Auburn, I moved to south Alabama to begin my career in forestry. Nine years and four cities later, we moved back. For those of you who live near a college town, you know there are many advantages…restaurants are abundant, activities are plentiful, and, most importantly, the fall pilgrimages involve only a short drive to the stadium. Another advantage is the opportunity to interact with students from across the state and around the world who will become the next generation of workers and community leaders. When we first moved back to Auburn, Kathy and I hosted a church-related small group for students and young couples where we had the opportunity to develop relationships and talk about life issues. At the time, we had 3 young children 6 and under and, as you might imagine, holding those events in our home involved shoving toys in closets, cleaning the baby food off the floor and walls and herding the kids into their rooms. In other words, we tried to create a semblance of order in our chaotic life long enough to have at least 30-minutes of “adult” conversation. Over the years those students graduated and moved on, starting careers and families of their own. Fast forward 20


years and we were reunited one Sunday morning with one of those former students who was back in the Auburn area with a family of his own. After introducing his kids to me, this former student proceeded to tell me how much he appreciated the time he spent in our home and how influential we had been in helping him build a firm foundation for his marriage and family. While I was honored by his comments, I was also confused. I couldn’t figure out exactly what I had done that could have been so influential. I remembered the meals we shared and the discussions we had but I couldn’t comprehend how that could have made such an impact. Despite my attempts in the intervening years to recall some particular words of wisdom that could possibly have led to that former student’s comments, the only conclusion I have been able to draw is… You never really know how much of an impact you can have in someone’s life by investing even a modest amount of your time. Sadly, it has taken most of my life to fully grasp the important role that each of us can play in someone’s life, especially during those times when people are making important decisions. Through this and many similar experiences I have learned that investing

in someone’s life requires two things: availability and opportunity. Later in this issue you will find an article written by our new Workforce Development Coordinator, Ashley Watts, providing an overview of a great opportunity that you have to influence the lives of Chris Isaacson high school students in “This program represents your community through an incredible opportunity...” our outreach efforts to enormous. With more than high school students across the 700 public and private high state. schools across the state with 250,000 students, we have a To date more than 50 of the real opportunity to help guide states 300+ Vo-Ag teachers many of these students down have been trained and will be the path to a rewarding career teaching our Forest Worker in our industry. Certificate curriculum in classes this fall. For each of That’s the opportunity….help these schools we are attemptstudents make one of their ing to identify 4-6 foresters, most important life decisions loggers and forest products by serving as mentor at a professionals who can serve as school in your community. mentors to interested students The question is….will you as well as subject-matter exmake yourself available? Sure, perts for teachers as they make it will take time…and it will their students aware of career require some effort….but conopportunities in the forest sider the reward. industry. This program represents an incredible opportunity to educate and engage more than 2,000 students in the coming school year and begin to create a pipeline of workers that will ensure our industry remains healthy and strong. In the coming years as we add more schools, the potential becomes

Philosopher and part-time comedian Lily Tomlin once wrote, “I said, ‘Somebody should do something about that.’ And then I realized, I am somebody.” Are you willing to invest? To find out how, contact Ashley Watts at (334) 481-2136 or awatts@alaforestry.org.


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Dean’s Notebook

Women in Natural Resources


omen at Auburn University have come a long way from when Katherine Broun, Margaret Teague, and Willie Little were admitted in 1892. The university is celebrating its 125 years journey that produced pioneers who broke boundaries and opened doors for others, the brilliant stars who transcended negativity and propriety to shine around the world, the doers and dreamers who knew that this practical world runs on hard work. Women in natural resources have come a long way too. The recognition of their positive and critical role in conserving and managing forests, wildlife and other natural resources is on the rise. For example: • Since 2001, Women in Natural Resources journal has been publishing work from women at all levels in forestry, wildlife, fisheries, range, recreation, soils, and the environmental sciences as they relate to natural resources. • A United Nations report (2013) notes that when women have a seat at the table and their concerns are taken into account in the management of natural resources, the impacts on families, communities and peace are positive and significant. The report urges governments and the international community to invest in the political and economic engagement of women in natural resource


management and to end discrimination that women face in accessing, owning and using critical natural resources in sustainable and productive ways. • Last fall, the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech organized a conference on Women in Natural Resources to address the issues facing women in this field. • As part of Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Dr. Becky Barlow, one of our faculty members has developed ForestHer program. It is a hands-on program for women to help them learn about forests and their management which includes reading maps, measuring natural resources, and marketing timber and non-timber products including wildlife. This program is attracting a lot of attention within the US Southeast and beyond! Women in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences have also come a long way! The school had its first female graduate 40 years ago. We now have over 600 women alumni. The school has been making every effort to recruit, educate, and empower women in natural resources. Currently women students account for about half of our Wildlife and Natural Resource Management students and 20% of our faculty are women. However, at less than 10%, female representation in our Forestry major is very small and we would like to explore

all possible avenues to increase this number. We believe that a comprehensive understanding of issues relating to a) recruiting women into forestry, wildlife, and other natural resource programs; b) providing positive and Dean Janaki Alavalapati, rewarding experience with Auburn University programs; and c) career advancement in the work “Currently women students account for place will about half of our Wildlife and Natural help us formulate Resource Management students and 20% plans to of our faculty are women.” promote women in our school. Towards this goal, our the school and in the work faculty, staff, and students are place. The event will conclude planning to organize “Women with a conversation about in Natural Resources” event how to attract more women on September 15, 2017 here into the school and how to in the school. The event prepare them to succeed in features a luncheon with panel their career! The event is discussion. Participants will open to public with an RSVP have networking opportunities requirement (see the details before and after the luncheon. in the invitation below). Hope The panel will consist of three you can join us to celebrate women alumni who will talk women at the SFWS! about their experiences in


Timber Titan of Alabama’s Forest Industry

Editor’s Note: In Greek Mythology Titans were a race of immortal giants of incredible strength. Today,“titans of industry” refers to individuals who made an incredible impact on the development of a particular industry. This article chronicles the life of Forestry Titan Morris Seymour.

Morris Seymour

A Wood Procurement Maestro By Sam Duvall


ongtime forestry executive and former AFA President (1990-91) in a time when the industry was expanding exponentially throughout the Southeastern United States.

The era between the 1960s and 1990s was a time of unprecedented change in forestry as the pulp and paper industry, in particular, took off like a rocket expanding with new mills and the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of acres of forestland to feed the voracious appetite of the expansion. Morris was right in the middle of that, working in land acquisition and wood procurement for some of the largest forestry companies in America. Yet, had he not changed his major while attending the University of Georgia, Morris might well have been known today as an artist, instead of the consummate forestry professional he became.

In June of 1958 Morris joined the U.S. Army in the same month that he graduated from the University of Georgia and got married. Busy month!



eMorris observes the production line at James River’s Naheola plant.


Morris was born in Bowman, Georgia in 1936, where he attended the public schools and graduated from high school in 1954. “From there I went to the University of Georgia and majored in art, for a short time. My mother and her clan, thought I had some kind of talent and wanted me to pursue it,” said Morris, who created art with pen and ink. Once he dug into art as a major, however, Morris decided it was not his cup of tea. Following the example of an older brother who attended the forestry school at Georgia, and having worked at his father’s sawmill in his youth, Morris switched to forestry. The rest, as the saying goes, is history. Morris Seymour enjoyed his school years, making good grades and excelling at basketball in high school. Back then, if you were six feet tall, like Morris, you were pretty much going to be on your high school basketball team. He also tried out for the team at the University of Georgia. But after a brief stint Morris decided that having one ball in the air at a time -- his studies -- was a precious plenty.

e Morris Seymour as a wee lad growing up in Georgia.

“I played a little bit my first year at Georgia. But I couldn’t do that and properly attend to my studies so I let that go,” he recalled. Once he settled into the forestry curriculum, Morris found his calling.


“When I was in high school, my older brother started a wood business. We cut pulpwood with chainsaws and loaded it by hand on a bob-tailed truck and then loaded it into box cars by hand.” Morris also worked with his father, Horace Seymour, who owned a small sawmill.

Young forester Morris Seymour checks things out after a recent controlled burn.

“My father had a peckerwood mill. That’s how I learned to drive. He would have me haul a load of lumber on Friday before I went to school. Bowman was 10 miles from Elberton Ga., the granite center of the world. My father sold them green pine lumber for crating tombstones.



“In later years, my father had a contract with the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company, which became Westvaco. (Westvaco merged with Mead in 2011 forming MeadWestvaco, which then merged with RockTenn in 2015 to form WestRock). Westvaco bought a lot of land, especially open land, and was planting a lot of trees. My father had 12 to 15 tractors and planters. So when I finished college I went to work with my dad in the winter planting trees for Westvaco,” Morris noted.

Young man with a plan. Morris Seymour early in his long career in forestry

dMorris’s paternal grandfather J.W. “Bud” Seymour in the early 1930s.



Before Morris started planting those trees he got married one day and joined the U.S. Army the next. “I graduated from college on the 10th of June in 1958, got married on the 14th and went into the Army on the 15th,” Morris recalled with a laugh. Morris picked as his wife a pretty young woman named Naomi who had grown up near his home in Georgia, and was also a graduate of the University of Georgia. To fulfill the military obligation young men of that era were subjected to Seymour joined the U.S. Army Reserves, taking his basic at Fort Jackson South Carolina and advanced training at Fort Knox, Kentucky where he was billeted with an armored unit. Fort Knox served as the U.S. Army Armor School and as the repository for much of the gold owned by the United States. In 2010, during base consolidations, the Armor School moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, but Ft. Knox kept the gold.

“From there, I went to work for Bowater who announced a mill they were building at Catawba, South Carolina, near Rock Hill. We moved to Clinton, South Carolina where we lived about 10 years. “I was a land acquisition forester, buying land for Bowater. My work covered the western part of South Carolina and some areas of Georgia. While there, I also took some short-courses in Forest Engineering at Clemson,” Morris recalled. After Bowater, Morris got a job with one of his favorite companies, Kimberly-Clark. “In 1967, a recruiter called me about a job with Kimberly-Clark. They were planning


Morris got into forestry when things were starting to boom. His first job, after working with is dad and brother, was with Canal Wood based in South Carolina. 10

After working at the Mead mill for about 10 years, Morris took a job with James River Corp. “In 1983, James River bought American Can Company and I went to work with James River and worked for them about 18 years based at Naheola in Choctaw County. I was Director of Southern Timberlands and Vice President of a company called Mid-South Lumber Company, based in Meridian, Mississippi. “We had a couple of hundred thousand acres of land. We had an interesting arrangement there. We had cutting agreements with American Can and I had to administer that with my counterpart with American Can, Jim Martin and Gene Keller,” Morris said, adding that James River continued acquiring other companies and Morris was also involved in “that appraisal process.” “I retired from James River in 1999. That’s it, I (now) play golf, travel a little and do a lot of nothing,” he said with a laugh, as he finished the chronology of his career.

Morris pulled his six months active duty and then reverted to reserve status, which required him to maintain a high level of fitness and attend regular drills. Despite the fact that Vietnam was heating up during his time in the Army, Morris’s unit was not activated. Morris’s marriage to Naomi produced four fine sons, Morris, Jr., an orthopedic surgeon who practices and lives in Huntsville; Donny who attended Jacksonville State University and is the Telecommunications Superintendent for the Scottsboro Power Board; Ray, a graduate of Mississippi State University who is Procurement Manager for Drax Biofuels in Louisiana; and Chris a graduate of the University of Alabama who worked in medical sales. Chris, the youngest son, died of a brain aneurism in 2011 at the age of 42.

for a year or two. Most of that time was me preparing the wood supply for the mill,” Morris noted.

Morris’s father Horace Seymour in the 1960s. to build a pulp and paper mill at Beach Island, South Carolina. So I went to work for Kimberly Clark and we lived in nearby Aiken, Georgia for a year and a half. But Kimberly-Clark decided not to build that mill and transferred me to Coosa Pines at Childersburg. That’s how I wound up in Alabama,” Seymour said. He worked at Coosa Pines for about five years in wood procurement. “Then Mead announced the mill at Stevenson, Alabama and a recruiter called me about a job there. So I came up here to work with Mead in 1973. The mill actually started up in ’75. I was the only representative they had there

Asked if there wasn’t a bit more to his work life than that, Seymour said he did some consulting work after retirement but still described his job as doing what he loves most; spending time with grandchildren and playing golf. I don’t hunt or fish but I do love to play golf,” he added, with a smile. Shortly after Morris retired, Georgia Pacific bought James River. Then, in 2005 the Koch Brothers bought Georgia Pacific.


Morris’s wife Naomi passed away in 2006 after a bout with cancer. In 2007 Morris ran into an old friend and former classmate named Shelba at a high school reunion. “I hadn’t seen Shelba in a long, long time. We had been friends in high school in Georgia,” Morris recalled. One thing led to another and Morris and ALABAMA FORESTS | Summer 2017

Bottom Left: Morris and Shelba Seymour. Top Left: Blasting his way out. Morris proves the point that it’s not how you get in the hole that counts, but how you get out! Top Right: The sons of Morris Seymour, left to right sitting, Ray, Morris Jr., standing, Donny and Chris. Chris died unexpectedly in 2011 at the age of 42. Bottom right: Morris and his beloved four sons getting ready to fly to Pinehurst Golf resort in Southern Pines, N.C. to chase the little white ball. From L to R, Donny, Ray, Morris Jr., Morris and Chris.

Shelba, who had lost her husband several years before, were wed in 2008. The marriage brought two strong families together. Shelba had been manager of a chain of restaurants in Charlotte, North Carolina and was the mother of three boys and two girls. Adding in Morris’s four sons, the Seymour family was now nine children strong. “I have eight grandchildren and she has 10,” Morris proudly proclaimed, “so between us, we have 18 grandchildren!” Shelba, whom Morris affectionately calls ‘Shel’, chimed in: “And I have six great grandchildren and he has one. His kids went on to college. Mine didn’t, they went to work. We got married in Georgia at the little church I was a member of growing up,” Shelba said.

“Consolidation has had a major impact on the pulp and paper business, affecting the markets, prices and everything else. The Internet has also taken a swipe at wood businesses pushing efforts to go paperless. Obviously, the newsprint business has also really suffered. I get a newspaper three days a week now, instead of every day, and it’s smaller than papers used to be,” Morris noted. “Of course, some markets for paper are going to be strong. They say packaging, for instance, is going to flourish,” he said, noting that demand would also continue for the use of wood in commercial and residential construction.


Morris said he believes forestry will continue to be a big success story in Alabama.

“I worked in forestry during what was probably the biggest growth period in the South. It doesn’t boom now, like it used to,” he said.

“Forestry in Alabama is in pretty good shape. Alabama is the place to practice forestry, no doubt about it. We have a good solid industry here, enhanced significantly by a strong and active Forestry Association” he said.

Obviously, Morris Seymour has seen a lot of changes in the wood business, both good and not so good.

“I’m sure Billy Bond and Tom Kelley and guys who are my age have seen the same things; but we saw the wood business change from short wood trucks with a big stick loader to what it is today. Of course, that was all we had back then. We counted them one time at Naheola and we had 600 wood suppliers,” he said, noting that switching to full length logs and more modern harvesting equipment and methods was a dramatic and positive change for the industry. Morris also watched the industry go through a period of incredible consolidation. ALABAMA FORESTS | Summer 2017

Morris Seymour was a key player in helping build the forest products industry into the powerful economic engine it has become today, particularly in our rural communities. So thanks Morris for a job well done and a retirement well earned! We also hope that you enjoy your new job as a golfer!


Logging Professional Profile

We believe loggers should be celebrated for the part they play in the wood fiber supply chain of keeping wood flowing to the mills.

Jimmy Hester

Fort Payne Logger

Has Always Lived Life His Way By Sam Duvall

Fort Payne logger Jimmy Hester (center) is flanked by his wife Barbie and his son Tyler. Jimmy runs the show, Barbie keeps the books and Tyler manages the wood yard operation.

FORT PAYNE, ALA. -- Logger Jimmy Hester knows a thing or two about logging. “I was snaking logs with a mule when I was 12 years old!” Jimmy said in a recent interview in the office of his company, Valley Timber Company in Fort Payne.


immy started out logging with his father, Jim Hester and his grandfather Harry Hester. When Jim Hester decided that dealing with hired hands was not for him, he bought earth moving equipment and gave up logging. But his son Jimmy hung with it and today has built a small but very respectable and diversified business including a sawmill, a pallet mill and a single-crew logging operation. “When I was 12-years-old my daddy was logging. Another guy would bring the peckerwood mill in and set it up. My daddy was in charge of logging and getting the logs in to the mill. He would cut the timber and my granddaddy used mules and bedded them up, like six at a time,” Jimmy recalled. “I was running a Ford tractor with six drive


dogs on it. I’d back up and drive a dog into the logs and drag them to the mill. We kept the mill running like that,” he said. Because of his location in the state, Jimmy is used to working in Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. On the day of this interview his crew was cutting timber just over the state line in Georgia. Like most people who do hard things well, Jimmy is proud of where he came from and where his hard work has taken him. “Nobody gave me anything, I earned it all myself,” he says proudly. Jimmy makes no secret that schooling was not for him. “I didn’t finish school. I went to the 7th grade and quit and went to work. I wasn’t doing any good in school, so I

figured I needed to do something else,” he said, with a laugh.

START UP MONEY “The first money I borrowed I was 15-yearsold. We were loading logs with a skid pole; pushing them up by hand. I figured I was going to have to do something different. So I tried to find a good used tractor with a frontend loader on it, but couldn’t find one. The local Ford dealer had a brand new one and said he could get it financed through Ford, but I had to have $1,500 for the down payment. So I talked my daddy into signing a note with me at the bank and that got me started,” Jimmy related. Although Jimmy’s father got completely out of the logging business, his grandfather ALABAMA FORESTS | Summer 2017

Harry continued to go with Jimmy to the woods and helped nurse his fledgling logging operation along. “I eventually I got a skidder and it took me all of these years to grow to where I am now,” he added. After logging for years under his name, Jimmy started Valley Timber, Inc. in 1988. The company is located on seven acres, while his pallet mill is located a short distance away on another non-contiguous eight acre plot. “I didn’t mean for all of this to get this big. I bought this yard and we just ran it like a wood yard. Then things slowed down so bad I had to do something else, so I started out with a little old band mill. But I have added on to that building (housing the mill) three times and it’s right in the corner of the property. If I had known it was going to get this big, I would have bought 20 acres,” he said.

Another load of wood cut at the Valley Timber sawmill.

MARRIED WITH CHILDREN Two years after starting Valley Timber in 1986, Jimmy married a pretty young woman named Barbie whom he had met while delivering logs to another mill. “I was hauling logs over to her daddy’s sawmill in Georgia. I first saw Barbie over there, she was working in the office,” Jimmy noted. Asked if it was love at first sight, Jimmy replied: “Well, I sort of had my eye on her, if you know what I mean.” The marriage created a solid union that has endured 29 years in the up and down cycle of the forest products business in Alabama, and the adjoining states. Barbie runs things in the office and keeps the books and payroll working smoothly, ably assisted by secretary, Karen Saferite. Jimmy was married and divorced before he and Barbie started dating. His first union produced daughter Jennifer and son Barry. Jimmy and Barbie’s marriage produced a daughter, Brittany, and a son Tyler. The latter is the youngest member of the family and works at Valley Timber headquarters. Jimmy is proud of all of his children and grandchildren. “I’ve got four grandkids, ALABAMA FORESTS | Summer 2017

Workers use nail guns to assemble pallets at Jimmy Hester’s pallet shop.

with another one on the way,” Jimmy said proudly. “My son Barry owns a tree cutting service and he keeps his trucks here,” he added, pointing to trucks emblazoned with Barry’s company name, Beaver Mountain Tree Service. “Barry used to do what Tyler does (work at the company headquarters). But he decided he wanted to do something on his own,” Jimmy said.

TWENTY-EIGHT AND COUNTING Asked how many people he employs, Jimmy said: “we’ve got about 28 people, give or take.” Barbie nodded her agreement with that number, adding, “yes; 28 depending on which day of the week it is.”

Jimmy Hester and his pallet shop foreman Jesse Wagner.

By way of explanation, Jimmy added, “we’ll hire somebody at the pallet shop just about every week. We’ve had some work an hour and just walk off. Some people just don’t want to work anymore.” Jimmy’s experience points to the industrywide problem of finding and keeping qualified workers in most aspects of the wood business. It also explains why Jimmy has enough logging equipment to run two logging crews but only has a single crew. “We cut a lot on the side of the mountains,” he said. Valley Timber runs Tigercat equipment for skidding, cutting and loading. “We’ve got a track cutter, a Komatsu, for cutting 13

Valley Timber Tigercat skidder in background brings the timber to the dock and Tigercat loader puts it on the truck. Inset: Valley Timber owner Jimmy Hester (left) is flanked by crew foreman Donnie Hester (Jimmy’s cousin in the center), who runs the loader and by skidder operator Michael Coots.

on the steep slopes,” Jimmy said. Valley’s woods crew consists of his cousin and crew foreman Donnie Hester who operates the loader. Also working as crew members are Michael Coots who operates a skidder, and Jeff Butler and Craig Canada, who also run skidders and cutters. Most of the crewmen are cross trained to run other machines if need be. “We buy timber and the logging crew cuts it. Then we bring it in here to the mill; the pallet logs and tie logs. We haul chips from the sawmill,” Jimmy said. “But we’ve got a chipper in the woods also where we chip up the tops like fill wood. That is, when I can get quota and get rid of it. “The pulpwood business has been down because the mills are handing out quota and that makes it harder on loggers. But overall, we’ve been staying pretty busy with saw timber and doing pallets and all. We also do cut pulpwood. “We sell grade logs to the grade mills and we haul pulpwood to the papermills. We haul to Brown-Forman and there’s about 14

three mills that we haul grade logs to. We get five to eight loads a day,” Jimmy said. “We do a lot of in-woods processing. We cut out the small logs to saw for pallets. Most of the big logs go on the trucks. We try to pull out all of the pallet logs and that slows us down a bunch. We’d get more loads out of it if we didn’t do that, but the landowner gets more for his timber with us doing that,” Jimmy noted.

big hardwood tops. It’s not like it was back in the 70s when we worked on the side of the mountains cutting and trimming with a chainsaw and moving the timber with a cable skidder. But we got as much work done then as we do now with all of this equipment,” Jimmy said. As he showed off his pallet shop, Jimmy distilled his philosophy of life and work down to 10 words.

Jimmy sells his pallets in Scottsboro, Chattanooga, Albertville and Rome, Ga. “We’re not a huge pallet operation or a huge sawmill. We are a small operator,” Jimmy said.

“My daddy told me, ‘if you’re going to do a job, do it right.’ So I have always tried to do the best job I can on whatever I am doing,” Jimmy said.


Considering his start as a 12-year-old boy snaking logs with his daddy and granddaddy, to the owner of a successful, multifaceted wood production business, it is obvious that the philosophy of work that Jimmy Hester inherited from his father has served him very well, indeed!

If Jimmy has a pet peeve, it is the difficulty of getting good solid workers to do what has to be done to harvest and mill timber into finished wood products. “It’s getting to where you can’t get help anymore to run a chainsaw. We still have to do some chain-sawing, like trimming the


This photo shows some of the rugged terrain that Valley Timber operates in. This site is located on hilly land in Georgia. Inset: Jimmy Hester (center) is flanked by Valley Timber crewmen Jeff Butler on the left and Craig Canada on the right.

Jimmy stands with a brand spanking new load of pallets ready to ship to customers.

One of Jimmy’s pullout trucks hooked up to a chip trailer.



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Alabama Forestry Association

2017 AnnuAL MEETInG September 10-12 Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach, Alabama Speakers: Tim Amerson, President & CEO AGFirst Farm Credit Bank The honorable kay Ivey, Governor, The State of Alabama The honorable Del Marsh, Senate Pro Tem, State of Alabama The honorable Steve Marshall, Attorney General, State of Alabama Doyle R. Simons, President & CEO, Weyerhaeuser Brad Southern, CEO, Louisiana Pacific Corporation

Saturday, September 9, 2017 2:00 pm

ForestPAC Board Meeting

2:00 pm

Young Leaders Meeting

5:30 pm

Early Bird Reception — Tacky Jacks (cash bar)

Sunday, September 10, 2017 8:00 am

Registration Opens

9:00 am

Continuing Education Track Moderated by TBD

Monday, September 11, 2017 7:30 am

9:00 am

Alabama Forestry Foundation Breakfast Award Presentation – 2017 AFA Legislator of the Year Keynote – The Honorable Kay Ivey, Governor, The State of Alabama Main Conference Track I Keynote — The Honorable Steve Marshall, Attorney General, State of Alabama

9:30 am

CEO Panel Tim Amerson, President & CEO AGFirst Farm Credit Bank Doyle R. Simons, President & CEO, Weyerhaeuser Brad Southern, CEO, Louisiana Pacific Corporation

10:00 am Architectural Innovations – Mass Timber David G. Kennedy, Auburn University School of Architecture (invited)

Option I: 12:00 pm

11:00 am Emerging Biorenewable Markets Stacy Jordahl, Vice President, Ingevity and Masood Akhtar, President, Biorenewable Deployment Consortium (invited)

12:30 pm 1:00 pm

GOLF Sunburn Classic Bus Departs ( Adult beverages will be served on the bus and lunch boxes handed out upon arrival) Sunburn Classic — Golf Check In Sunburn Classic Shotgun Start

9:00 am Recent Tax Decisions/Statutes Affecting Alabama Timberland Owners Orman Wilson, CPA, Tax Manager, JamisonMoneyFarmer

1:00 pm Recruiting Wood Product Manufacturers Ken Muehlenfeld, Director Forest Products Development Center, The Alabama Department of Commerce 2:00 pm Forestry Products in LEED Buildings Dustin Davis, Architect, Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects 3:00 pm Liability Issues and Insurance Solutions Related to Land Ownership Mark E. Fryer, President, Davis-Garvin Agency, Inc 10:00 am

AFA Executive Committee


Lunch Available for Continuing Education Participants

1:00 pm

AFA Board of Directors

5:00 pm

Exhibits Open / Product Demonstration

6:00 pm

Opening Reception

6:00 pm

Tree Farm Silent Auction

7:00 pm

Chairman’s Club Dinner — Invitation only

Option II: 12:45 pm 1:00 pm

BACk BAY ECO TOuR CFE & PLM Credits available Boarding available at 12:45 pm Boat departs at 1:00 from San Roc Cay Marina, across from Perdido Beach Resort

Option III: 1:00 pm

Fun In ThE Sun BEACh BASh Sponsored by Taylor Machine Works, Inc.

5:30 pm

Exhibits Open

6:30 pm


7:30 pm


7:30 am

Breakfast Keynote — TBD

9:00 am

Main Conference Track II AFA Business Meeting Chris Isaacson — AFA Overview Tom Saunders — Political/Legislative/Legal Update Ashley Smith — Foundation Education Update Leigh Peters — Stewardship Update Graduation Ceremony — AFA Young Leaders

11:00 am

AFA Board of Directors

11:30 am


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Profile in Public Service

Editor’s Note: This regular feature profiles an individual engaged in the political arena.

Elaine Hill Beech A Conservative Democrat You Can Count On By Tom Saunders Rep. Elaine Beech, D-Chatom, during debate in the Alabama House.


he 2010 census shows 1,288 people living in Chatom, Alabama and Wikipedia identifies it’s most famous native to be Shawna Thompson of the country music duo Thompson Square (Are you Going to Kiss Me or Not reached number one on the Country Billboard Charts). What Wikipedia doesn’t know, and in fact most Alabamians do not realize, is that there is an increasingly powerful politician residing quietly in the small Washington County town. While no one suggests that Montgomery fame is comparable to Nashville fame, Chatom is becoming an important stop on the political trail. House District 65 is home to the Alabama House of Representative’s Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Elaine Beech. Serving in a body composed of 76 republicans and only 29 democrats, one might ask, how does a member of the minority party becomes influential and powerful to the political process?


With the republicans having a supermajority (three fifths of the members of the House of Representatives can vote to suspend a filibuster by a cloture petition), the House leadership attempts to engage the minority party whenever possible to pass legislation in a bi-partisan manner.

Alabama Polytechnic Institute) with a degree in agriculture education.

A fiscal conservative, Beech is quite popular with all members of the House, regardless of party. “I really do enjoy working with all my colleagues…we might not always agree on everything, but it doesn’t hurt anything to work with people that have different views and at the end of the day, it’s nice to actually accomplish something without rancor and dispute.”

Upon his graduation, her father returned to Chatom and worked for his father, William Edward Hill, at the W.E. Hill Lumber Company in Millry. Started in the 1940’s, the sawmill was one of several in the area. Upon the elder Hill’s death in 1970, three of his sons (including Elaine’s father) continued to run the business until it was closed in the mid-1980’s.

Rosalyn Elaine Hill Beech was born in Millry in 1960 to Joseph McCarty “Bobo” Hill, Sr. and Imogene McRae Hill. While most children in rural Alabama take some time and struggle with their most lifeinfluencing decision, Elaine really had no choice, hasn’t regretted it or looked back since. She is first and foremost an Auburn Tiger to the core, influenced by her father, who graduated from Auburn in 1959 (then

“The house that my husband and I built would be the last house to use our lumber. I was sad to see it close. As you well know, the industry is changing and small mom & pop sawmill businesses are disappearing. Why? Risk, rising capital investment, dealing with government bureaucracy…all of the above”.

“Daddy made it quite clear early in my life that if I wanted to go to college, I could go anywhere I wanted to, but he would only pay for it if I went to Auburn.”

Elaine grew up around the sawmill and worked there in high school learning to


scale logs, managing the weight tickets and paying the loggers. Her brother Joe worked in the operations side of the mill. “I learned what it took to make a payroll at an early age, which certainly helps me today as a legislator. The whole community in our area of the state depended on the timber industry…not much has changed in that regard.” She matriculated to Auburn after graduating from Millry High School in 1978. She first studied Chemical Engineering but soon switched to Pharmacy and graduated in 1983. She and her late husband, Wayne Beech (also an Auburn Pharmacy School graduate), settled in Chatom and owned and operated an independent pharmacy, B&F Drugs. “Most people think I met Wayne at Auburn, but that’s not how it came about,” Beech says with a sly smile, “I met him when I was working for him as a young preceptor (intern). Back then, dating a colleague was a no-no, so I either had to marry him or get fired!” After her husband’s death, Elaine sold B&F Drugs to another Chatom native and daughter of Chuck Reynolds an active member of the Alabama Forestry Association.

Is there any doubt about which Alabama school Rep. Elaine Beech roots for?

Her first stop on the political traail was a visit with the legendary Ed Turner, a prominent attorney in Chatom. Extremely influential in Democratic Party politics, Turner endorsed her and provided her first campaign contribution. With his backing and guidance she was on her way. “Without his support, you are not going to win a political race in this area of the state, but I will tell you this, he has not ever asked me to vote any particular way on any issue. I take that back….there was a chicken fighting bill one time…..” ALABAMA FORESTS | Summer 2017

Demonstrating her political influence, Elaine serves on the Healthcare committee, the General Fund Budget committee and the Rules committee. She is also a member on the Governor’s Health improvement Task Force, the Opioid Abuse and Addiction Task Force, the Energy Council and the Unmanned Vehicle study Commission. In the 2017 Regular Session, Beech was House sponsor of the Alabama Forestry Association’s legislation amending Alabama’s severance tax statute. The statute, first enacting in 1949, had become antiquated and confusing. Utilizing her background from the sawmill days she quickly grasped the complicated subject matter of the legislation and ably guided its passage through the House. When it was time to vote, the House passed the legislation 103-0. The fact that not a single vote was cast against the bill indicates how quietly powerful she has become in the legislature. “I was really pleased with how that bill moved through the legislature. AFA has strong support and almost everyone has some tie to the timber industry in this state. I was real nervous because it was such a complicated subject, so I was glad to see the board light up with all that green.” (The House of Representatives records its votes on a board for the entire chamber and audience to view. “Yes” votes are green and “no” votes are red)

Elaine has two children; Daniel and Leslie, both of whom are also Auburn graduates. Elaine’s brother, Joseph McCarty Hill, Jr. “Joe”, is also an active member of AFA and works in nearby Thomasville for Thomasville Lumber Company. After selling the drugstore, Elaine continued her career by pursuing public service. She was elected to the Washington County Board of Education in 2006. In 2009, Marc Keahey, from nearby Grove Hill, retired from the Alabama House of Representatives when he was elected to the Alabama Senate to replace the late Senator Pat Lindsey. With Marc moving to the Senate, Elaine decided to run for his open House seat.

She won the special election and then had to run again in 2010 for a full term. She defeated an independent candidate by a wide margin and then was re-elected in 2014 without any opposition, a testament to her constituent’s satisfaction with her work on their behalf.

Her desire for service continues through her love of Auburn University as a life member of the Auburn Alumni Association, a member of the Pharmacy Alumni Association, the 1856 Society, and Tigers Unlimited. She has also served as president of Auburn’s ClarkeWashington Alumni Association. “I am proud to be an Auburn graduate. I love everything Auburn, but I also love this state and I am pleased to be able to represent my part of the state in the Legislature. I don’t know what the future holds and I am not sure how long I will continue to do this, but as long as the folks back home want me to be here, I have no plans on going anywhere.” That’s good news for Alabama and especially good for the state’s timber industry. “The Alabama Forestry Association stands for all the right things from my standpoint. Limited government, private property rights…that’s what I will keep fighting for,” she added.


Associate Member Spotlight

Highlights associate members who are invaluable to AFA. Through their financial support, associate members fund AFA grassroots activities and outreach to members and prospective members. Please support our associate members. They are an integral part of the AFA family.


Insurance Agency

Is Now Part Of

While continuing to provide insurance for logging contractors, Davis-Garvin also provides products and services through its Forestry Specialty Group program division to hunt clubs, landowners, foresters and others in the forest products industry.


ver the past 35 years, DavisGarvin Insurance Agency (Davis-Garvin) has developed into one of the most wellknown forestry insurance providers in the southeastern United States. After operating independently for most of its existence, Davis-Garvin is now part of AssuredPartners NL, one of the largest insurance agencies in the country. DavisGarvin joined AssuredPartners NL to enhance its capabilities. This provided those they work with a best of both worlds scenario – dealing with a knowledgeable insurance provider who also has the resources the insured needs. Davis-Garvin was established in 1981 when Hinton Davis, Jimmie Garvin and two others opened the doors in Columbia, South Carolina. From the beginning, Davis-Garvin focused on the forest products industry. One of the founders, Hinton Davis, grew up working for his father in the logging business. This provided great


insight and a passion to serve the forest products industry. Initially, their focus was on providing insurance to the logging sector. However, they soon realized that other sectors in the forest products industry had needs and began developing additional programs to serve those needs. The development and implementation of these programs began over 30 years ago and continues today. While continuing to provide insurance for logging contractors, Davis-Garvin also provides products and services through its Forestry Specialty Group program division to hunt clubs, landowners, foresters and others in the forest products industry. These programs include hunt club liability, timberland liability, consulting foresters and prescribed burn liability, guides and outfitters liability, standing timber coverage, reforestation coverage and inland marine coverage. In addition to these in-house specialty programs, they work with sawmills and other commercial forestry companies. Davis-Garvin prides itself on being a one-

stop-shop for anything forestry related. From its beginning in Columbia, South Carolina, Davis-Garvin now has offices located throughout the Southeast with their footprint being the southeast timber belt. These offices focus on the forest products industry. Over the years, they have expanded into non-forestry areas as well. Today, Davis-Garvin offers a full range of insurance products and services including commercial lines, employee benefits and personal lines. As an independent agent, they have access to numerous world-class insurance markets. Although important, the placement of coverage is only part of what they do. Davis-Garvin takes a full service approach to meeting the needs of their insureds. They also assist their clients with managing their claims, loss control services, premium auditing, and premium financing through their business partners and affiliated companies. The foundation laid by the founders ALABAMA FORESTS | Summer 2017

for several years. This program insures the value of merchantable trees. They received input from the forestry community that landowners were willing to accept the time it takes to grow timber to maturity. A possible delay in the return on investment because of a fire or wind disaster is tolerated. However, encountering out of pocket expenses to replant a pre-merchantable stand can be unbearable. A product to insure these replanting costs was needed. Davis-Garvin worked with an industry expert to develop a Reforestation program that protects an insured against the unexpected loss of cash by providing owners with cash flow payments to replant and get back in the business of growing timber after a catastrophic fire or wind loss. has been instilled and continues in the leadership team. Davis-Garvin has several long term employees committed to the success of those they serve. Mark Fryer, president, has been with Davis-Garvin over 20 years as has Chris Daves, Managing Director; John Walker and Mark Keller. Mark Fryer is also responsible for the Forestry Specialty Group and John Walker and Mark Keller are the primary contacts for non-program business in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Davis-Garvin has always been an innovator in the forest products industry. They look for opportunities and then develop programs to meet those opportunities. They have provided liability insurance for hunt clubs and landowners for around 30 years. There are others that now offer this coverage but few, if any, did when they first began. This is a great coverage for landowners and hunt clubs. There are many benefits to landowners by leasing land to hunt clubs. However, there is also a significant liability exposure. By purchasing this coverage, the landowner and the hunt club can reduce that exposure. Another example of innovation is their Reforestation program. Davis-Garvin has offered a Standing Timber program ALABAMA FORESTS | Summer 2017

One more example is the Prescribed Burn Liability for Landowners program. Davis-Garvin has offered a liability program for Consulting Foresters for several years. This program includes the ability to provide coverage for those performing prescribed burns. They received input that more landowners would do prescribed burns if they could get insurance coverage. A program was put together to provide landowners protection if they do prescribed burns. There are certain conditions that must be met but coverage is now available.

associations. Not only are they members of these groups, but their personnel are actively engaged. They serve on the boards and executive committees of several associations. In 2012, Davis-Garvin was purchased by AssuredPartners NL. It was a mutual attraction. AssuredPartners NL appreciated the forestry presence and forestry program business of Davis-Garvin. Davis-Garvin was attracted to AssuredPartners NL because they were also involved in the forest products industry. In addition, joining forces with AssuredPartners NL allowed Davis-Garvin to expand the markets, tools, resources and expertise they were able to offer. This has been the case for the last five years. As a testimony to the fit of the two companies, you would likely not have an idea that the partnership occurred. AssuredPartners NL and parent company, AssuredPartners Inc., have continued to make acquisitions throughout the country including several in Alabama. With the continued growth of AssuredPartners NL, the Davis-Garvin leadership team made the decision to move to the AssuredPartners NL name. The goal is for this to be a seamless transition during 2017. While the name will change, the involvement and commitment to the industry remains the same. DavisGarvin is proud to be involved in the forest products industry and to partner with the Alabama Forestry Association.

The Davis-Garvin philosophy has always been that if you are going to be committed to an industry you need to support that industry just like it supports you. This is not just a philosophy; this is a way of life. Davis-Garvin has always given back to the Forest Products industry. They are members of several state forestry associations including the Alabama Forestry Association as well as regional and national 21

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Frozen Peppermint Cheesecake 1 ½ cups chocolate wafer crumbs ¼ cup sugar ¼ cup butter, melted 1, 8-ounce package cream cheese 1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup crushed peppermint candy 3 drops liquid red food coloring 2 cups whipping cream, whipped Garnishes: whipped cream and crushed peppermint candy Combine first 3 ingredients; firmly press onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill. Beat cream cheese at high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add condensed milk, peppermint candy, and food coloring; beat well. Fold in whipped cream. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and freeze until firm. Garnish if desired. Yields one 9-inch cheesecake. Christie York | Marshall-DeKalb EC Cook of the Month, December 2015


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News & Views

Alabama Tree Farm Committee


I State Chairman Tim Browning


Vice-Chair Lamar Dewberry


Program Administrator Leigh Peters 334-481-2134 Database Coordinator Jena Hillman


Financial Chair Todd Langston


Awards & Recognition Chair Nick Granger 334-790-7516 Certification Chair Lamar Dewberry


Tree Farmers Dianne Saloom Felicia Dewberry

251-867-6464 256-396-0555

At Large Directors Salem Saloom John Boutwell

251-867-6464 334-365-9221

DISTRICT DIRECTORS Black Belt District Brigetta Giles


Capital District Walter Cartwright


Delta District Benji Elmore


Longleaf District Jeremy Lowery


Mountain District Todd Langston


Piedmont District Amy Gaddy


Valley District Johnnie Everitt


Vulcan District Jason Dockery


Warrior District Tim Browning


Wiregrass District Nick Granger



t is always worth mentioning the hazards we as landowners and outdoor workers face this time of year. We get so caught up in the task at hand a lot of the time that we fail to prepare or take caution. I am just merely reminding you to be safe during this season. I won’t go into a lot of detail, but every year you hear about a friend, family member, or co-worker that is plagued by some of the following hazards. Yes, I understand that we do not live in a glass bubble, but you know I love to draw on knowledge from the past or “old sayings”. Well, “An ounce of prevention is better a pound of cure”. The summer months are times when we who love to be outdoors face most hazards. Employers should train outdoor workers to identify threats and protect themselves when subject to exposure. You at home simply need to stop and think, take care of loved ones, and look out for each other. Some common threats we face outdoors or “in the woods” are extreme heat, extreme noises, sun exposure, venomous wildlife and insects, poisonous plants, and vector-borne diseases caused from mosquitoes or ticks. Some of the heat related problems can be prevented by staying hydrated in summer months. Don’t wait until you stop sweating to hydrate. Start hydrating shortly after getting your morning coffee or breakfast routine down. You should also wear long sleeves when possible or apply sunscreen to protect your skin from UV damage or possibly cancer. Scheduling outdoor work early in the morning or late in the evening will also help to minimize exposures to sun related illness. Hearing loss is the number one work-related illness in the U.S. according to Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This can be prevented

by wearing either ear plugs or hearing protection muffs. You are at risk around sawmills, chainsaws, heavy equipment, and a host of other activities. Don’t assume that this one time won’t affect me and work without hearing protection. Hearing loss is a cumulative effect and very difficult to treat or correct years later. Venomous wildlife such as poisonous snakes, scorpions, spiders, and stinging insects can be deadly either from the direct bite or an allergy that you may have to the source. Most of the time, the best prevention is using your senses of eyesight and hearing when outdoors. There are also some protective clothing such as long pants, long sleeve shirts, boots or closed toe shoes, and protective chaps for snakes. Let me go ahead and mention poisonous plants while I am thinking about it. Poison oak, ivy, sumac, and few other plants outdoors can cause severe allergic reactions if their oils come in contact with skin. Again, clothing that covers your skin and a little research to plant identification can go a long way towards prevention. Washing your hands and arms to remove any oils that you may have been exposed to as soon as you return from outdoors is also key to preventing these skin allergies. Vector-borne diseases may be caused from exposure to insects such as ticks or mosquitoes. When bitten by these insects, they can transfer disease causing agents in the form of bacteria or viruses. First, I will mention mosquitoes and some diseases associated with them. Commonly known viruses are Zika, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria which are all caused by mosquito bites. Wearing protective clothing and applying an EPA-registered insect repellent is probably the best prevention. One should carefully read the label of

insect repellents about application and then follow the guideline about applying to your clothing and skin. There is also a lot or information available on the internet or through your smartphone about native plants that will aide in repelling these pesky little insects. Tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Southern Tick Associated Rash, Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever, and several more that are not mentioned. You can reduce your chances of getting these diseases by using insect repellents containing permethrin, DEET, picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, and a few more. A lot of information is available online and you should find one that best suits your needs. Again, read the labels and apply as directed especially to bare skin. You should always check skin for ticks after exposure. Pay close attention to areas under the arms, in and around the ears, in belly buttons, backs of knees, in and around any hair, and around the waistline. Showering after being outdoors is particularly helpful as well when possible. If you are bitten or remove a tick, be careful to take notice of any rash or fever and seek medical attention as soon as possible, should either of these occur. I could go on and on about any one of these hazards that we face. I know this may not be as interesting as reading about timber management or recreation on your property, but it is equally as important. Take care of yourself this summer and remember, “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. Until next time, take care….

By Tim Browning


SOUTHERN REGIONAL OUTSTANDING Tree Farmers of the Year Glenn and Scarlet Riley


lenn and Scarlett Riley’s Tree Farm story is one of remembering the past and looking forward to future generations. While their management objectives include wood, water, wildlife, and recreation, their primary intent is sharing. Sharing the knowledge and resources of their Tree Farm in the Barnes Community of Henry County with their family and community Everyone from elementary students to forestry professionals has benefited from their generosity. The Riley’s have a hands on approach to management, taking on tasks such as prescribed burns and building roads. They are proud to practice sustainable forestry, benefiting both wood production and wildlife habitat. The Riley’s timber management includes uneven aged loblolly, longleaf, and bottom land hardwood. Regular prescribed burning and thinning are utilized to maintain a healthy forests. In addition to managing for game species with wildlife openings, the Riley’s also manage their property for non-game species. A great example of their commitment to this includes marking all gopher tortoise burrows on the property and leaving areas open for habitat. Stream side management zones are evident throughout the property, and the Riley’s are careful to follow state BMP’s when harvesting and constructing and maintaining the roads and firelanes throughout the Tree Farm. Mr. Riley takes pride in learning all he can about sustainable forest management. He takes time to visit with forestry professionals and read publications, which has enabled him to identify and do most of his management himself. The Riley’s are a great example to other landowners, and are willing to share their knowledge and experience with all. They are a Tree Farm Family. As the 2017 Southern Regional Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year, the Riley’s are currently in the running to win the American Tree Farm System National Tree Farmer of the Year. You can learn more about the Riley’s and VOTE for them here: www.treefarmsystem.org/2017-otfy

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Alabama Tree Farm presents

SHORTLEAF PINE FIELD TOUR Hosted by Deer Step Tree Farm in Waterloo, Alabama

SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 Topics include: •

Shortleaf Establishment

 ame and Non-Game Wildlife G Management in Shortleaf

Prescribed Fire in Shortleaf

 Management & Growth Rates for Shortleaf Pine For more information contact: Leigh Peters, Director of Landowner Programs lpeters@alaforestry.org or 334-481-2134

SILENT AUCTION The Alabama Tree Farm Committee is preparing for the Silent Auction to be held in conjunction with the AFA Annual Meeting, September 10-12, 2017. The Silent Auction is Tree Farm’s largest fundraiser, and proceeds are used to promote Alabama’s Tree Farm program and serve Tree Farmers throughout the state. The committee is seeking donations of items or funds for the purchase of bid items. We would love to have Alabama-made items that come from all parts of the state. Please contact local craftsmen in your area. We will advertise his/her business alongside the item, and publish a list of auction items along with the crafter’s contact information for meeting participants. Donations are tax deductible. Examples of items to donate include: • • • • • • • • •

 ravel Packages (Hunting, Fishing, Beach, Other Leisure) T Sports Game Tickets Wall Art (Paintings, Drawings, Photos) Hand Crafted Gift Items (Wood, Pottery, Glass, Metal, Textile items etc.) Furniture (Wood benches, Adirondack Chairs, Tables, etc.) Jewelry Yard Art (bird baths, birdhouses, planters, etc.) Services (Spa, Landscaping, Fine Dining) Plants (gift certificates to nurseries etc.)

Please contact the Alabama Tree Farm Program at treefarm@alaforestry.org or 334-265-8733 to donate items or funds. 26




ree Farmers Glenn and Scarlet Riley recently hosted the annual Henry County Classroom in the Forest program. Approximately 225 fifth grade Henry County School students visited the Riley’s property to learn about proper forest management and stewardship by rotating through 6 stations. As they visited each station they gained knowledge about tree identification, wildlife habitats, pond management, timber harvesting, and landowner rights.




ree Farmer Felicia Dewberry recently held a Women’s Walk in the Forest on her Tree Farm near Lineville, Alabama. The ladies attending enjoyed a brief walk in the forest and talks by Gloria Nielsen, District Ranger with the U.S. Forest Service and Leigh Peters, Director of Landowner Programs with the Alabama Forestry Association.


he property of Ron Dewberry was recently recognized by the Clay County Forestry Planning Committee as Clay County’s newest Tree Farm. Earl Smith was the inspecting forester for the property. Ron enjoys his time managing his forest for timber production and the property is frequented by his children and three grandsons for hunting and recreation. Pictured from left to right: Marie Gasser, landowner; Nick Jordan, Alabama Forestry Commission; Ron Dewberry; and W. N. McCollum, planning committee president.



e r u t a N o t s id K g in t c e n Con Nature is a great teacher! Try this outdoor activity – it’s safe, fun, and educational. Project Learning Tree® activities build children’s creative and critical thinking skills while they learn what the environment needs to remain healthy and sustainable. Visit shop.plt.org for more.

Every Tree for Itself Try this active simulation to give children an understanding of the conditions trees need to live and grow. This activity will also help teach that trees must often compete for their needs. Challenge students to think about the things they need to live and grow. Then ask about the things trees need to survive. What are a tree’s needs and how do they get them? What happens to trees when these needs are not met? Explain how trees use leaves to capture sunlight and roots to access water and nutrients. Did you know that for many species, a tree’s height is roughly equal to the diameter of its root spread? This concept is illustrated in the diagrams below. Explain to children that this information can be used to determine the root spread of a tree their size… or the size of their own root spread if they were a tree! Ask:



• How can we make a circle large enough to show the size of your root spread? (help them do so, using string or sidewalk chalk)



• What is the diameter of your rootspread? (the same as their height!)




• How tall are you?



Tree Height and Root Spread


Have children stand in the middle of their root spread circle and pretend they are a tree. Remind children that trees are rooted to the ground and cannot move or talk in order to get what they need. Ask children to demonstrate how a tree might act if sunlight only reached one side. What might a tree look like if it is hungry, thirsty, or cold? What might happen if a tree’s root spread overlapped with those of other trees? How do trees compete for survival?

Make Learning Fun! For more activity ideas and materials, attend a PLT workshop: • Visit www.plt.org/alabama • Contact your PLT State Coordinator: Ashley Smith, asmith@alaforestry.org, 334-481-2128

Project Learning Tree® (PLT) is a program of the American Forest Foundation. In Alabama, PLT is sponsored by the Alabama Forestry Association.


ALABAMA FORESTS | Summer 2017from Activity 27: Every Tree for Itself from Project Learning Tree’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. ©American Forest Foundation. Adapted


! ! W O W Alabama’s forest products industry generates $13 billion each year in economic activity! at the r e b m u l t abou awmill S Learning a ik l e p ser O a r F t s We




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In Memoriam

Mike Minchew Billy C. Bond Mike Minchew passed away on Thursday, May 25, 2017. He was a 1974 graduate of T.R. Miller High School, a graduate of Jefferson Davis Community College. He also graduated from Auburn University in 1978.

Mike was born on April 3, 1956. Mike and T.R. Miller, where he worked for many years, were great supporters of AFA and our programs. Mike was Wood Procurement Manager for T.R. Miller for many years and had been battling cancer for several years. TR Miller CEO Danny White had this to say about Minchew: “Mike was an outstanding Wood Procurement Manager, the best I’ve ever worked with in my 40 year career. His honesty and integrity, to both TR Miller and the landowners he dealt with, was second to none. He was a good friend and will be truly missed by all who knew him. He was special.”

We are deeply saddened to inform you that forest industry stalwart Billy C. Bond of Monroeville passed away on Saturday, August 5, 2017.

Billy was a legendary figure in the development of the wood industry in Alabama and the Southeast. Over his career he worked in an executive capacity for Kimberly-Clark, Hammermill, International Paper, Harrigan Lumber Company and Alabama River Woodlands. Billy served as Alabama Forestry Association President and Board Chairman for 1976-77 and played a major role getting the AFA office building built in Montgomery, serving as vice-chairman of the AFA Building Committee alongside the chairman and Billy’s good friend, the late Dwight Harrigan. A comprehensive story on Billy’s life and work can be found on pages 6-10 in the Fall 2016 issue of Alabama Forests magazine.

Frank Mozingo

Mr. Frank Mozingo passed away on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Frank was an active member of Heritage Church of God and a board member of the Alabama Forestry Association. He was employed as a Timber Procurement Manager at Mid Star Timber. He is survived by his wife, Sarita Doggett Mozingo of Gilbertown, AL; son, Colton Ford Mozingo (Annie) of Gilbertown, AL; daughter, Cortney Mozingo Richardson (Ryan) of Butler, AL; granddaughter (on the way), Gracie Anne Richardson; mother, Gracie Mozingo of Wimberly, AL; father, James Mozingo (Angie) of Laton Hill, AL; brothers, Carlos Mozingo (Beth) of Lisman, AL and Dwight Mozingo (Lori) of Wimberly, AL; and special extended family, Randy, Elaine, and Cooper McKee. Frank always led with a big smile and will be greatly missed by those who knew him.

Alabama Forestry NEW :Layout 1 12/9/14 7:06 PM Page 1

Since the 1950’s a Weyerhaeuser goal has been to breed trees to produce only the highest quality sawlogs, because growing quality sawlogs brings the highest return to forest landowners. Our pioneering forest genetics program continually develops advanced technologies to improve the growth, straightness, and wood quality of your future sawlogs, and improve wood quality.

800.344.0399 VA/NC 800.634.8975 FL/GA/SC 800.635.0162 AL/MS/TN 800.221.4898 AR/LA/OK/TX www.weyerhaeuserseedlings.com www .weyerhaeuserseedlings..com



and service—ever tional quality y day” “Tradi



Southern Wood Chips, Inc B&T Shavings, Inc

PO Box 1425 • Jasper, AL 35502 www.jasperlumber.com Phone: (205) 384-9088 Fax: (205) 384-0000


“We are not the new kid on the block. We have been handling the insurance for the forest products industry since 1969. If you want your insurance agent to be around when you have a claim, call us.” SFI – 00111

1200 Elba Hwy., P.O. Box 488, Troy, AL 36081-0448 Office: (334) 566-1477 Fax: (334) 566-7986 Email: wig@troycable.net AL WATS: (800) 239-1477


News & Views AFA Is Working On

Workforce Development By Ashley Watts



ike many other sectors of Alabama’s manufacturing economy, the forest industry is experiencing a growing challenge – skilled labor positions are becoming more and more difficult to fill even as job openings increase. Why? Because many students have been led to believe that a college degree is necessary for a rewarding career even though many jobs available today are skilled labor positions. Ask a group of high school students what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll probably hear answers like “a doctor,” “a lawyer,” “a teacher,” or “a nurse” because they haven’t been exposed to other opportunities. Another factor contributing to the skilled worker shortage is that many of those same students don’t realize there are hundreds of jobs available working in the forest industry…close to home…that offer some of the best-paying, most stable employment in Alabama’s rural economy. That’s why the Alabama Forestry Association decided to create Forestry Works, an initiative to introduce students to career opportunities in our industry, and to provide them with the tools and resources they need in order to pursue those careers.


Several years ago, the AFA began to lay the foundation to build a stable supply of qualified workers via the comprehensive workforce development initiative known as Forestry Works.

The goal of this initiative is to educate students, parents, and teachers about careers and job opportunities in the forest industry, and to provide interested students with resources to help them along their career path.

Auburn Architect students look over a massive glulam beam at Structural Wood Systems plant in Greenville, Ala.


AFA, in partnership with the Alabama State Department of Education, has developed a Forest Worker Certificate Program to be taught in schools across the state. This certificate was designed to introduce students to basic forestry concepts and careers in the forest industry.


Once they are educated, we will engage interested students through a mentoring program. Mentors will work closely with schools and individual students to provide support and resources in order to encourage students to pursue a career in the forest industry.


Finally, we will provide training opportunities, including an equipment operator training program, to develop the skills and knowledge of interested individuals aged 18+ to prepare them for a career in logging. The program will include classroom and field instruction, simulator training and hands-on logging equipment experience in order to develop a qualified pool of logging equipment operators.

It takes a big saw to cut the big glulam beams produced at Structural Wood Systems.


While financial support is always appreciated and needed, we need your personal involvement even more. Whether you are a landowner, logger, forester or industry employee, we need hundreds of volunteers to serve as mentors, participate in the training programs or otherwise support the effort to prepare the next generation of workers for exciting and rewarding careers in forestry. For additional information or to get involved please contact:

Ashley Watts Workforce Development Coordinator awatts@alaforestry.org (334) 481-2136

Auburn Architect Students get a firsthand look at how big structural glulam beams are produced at Structural Wood Systems in Greenville, Ala.



Clarke County We transform Alabama timber into world class building products.










1500 North Clarke Industrial Road, Thomasville, AL

(334) 637-3500 LPCorp.com

PRT is excited to announce the opening of a nursery in Atmore, AL

Established at the former E.A. Hauss nursery site on a long term lease with the Alabama Forestry Commission. The nursery will begin sowing in March with seedlings ready to be shipped for the 2017/2018 planng season. PRT will offer the following containerized seedlings: •

Improved Longleaf

Nave and Piedmont Longleaf

3rd Generaon Loblolly

Slash and Shortleaf

PRT is North America's largest grower of containerized forest seedlings with a network of 15 nurseries in the US and Canada. For more informaon contact: Flynn Miller Flynn.miller@prt.com / 706-714-4108 36

www.prt.com ALABAMA FORESTS | Summer 2017


Underwriting ◆ Loss Control ◆ Claims Administration ◆ Investigation ◆ Legal Defense ForestFund’s professional staff provides unparalleled service beginning with your first call to the underwriting department. Qualified applicants will receive a prompt quote. Loss control experts will advise you and your employees on all aspects of a safety program. Any claims may be reported with a toll-free number 24 hours a day. Once the claim is reported an investigation is conducted. If accepted, the claim is efficiently adjusted. The injured employee is treated by health care providers specializing in workplace injuries. Employers are given timely reports on the progress of each claim. When claims are disputed, ForestFund members are represented by the best workers’ compensation defense lawyers in the state. ForestFund is in its fourth decade of providing exceptional service for employers and employees who harvest, transport, manufacture, buy or sell forest products. Sure there are other programs that provide workers’ compensation coverage, but do they measure up to ForestFund when it comes to Stability, Savings, Service and Safety? Make the call to find out. General Liability quotes are also available. ALABAMA Summer For aFORESTS quote, | call Kelly2017 Daniel at ForestFund: (334) 495-0024


Index to Advertisers AFA & AFFILIATED PROGRAMS


AFA Annual Meeting halaforestry.org ..................16-17 AFA Forest PAC h alaforestry.org ................................32

ForestFundhalaforestry.org..................................37 The Witherington Insurance Group hwitheringtoninsurance.com ........................34

AGRICULTURAL LENDING Alabama Land Banks Associations hAlabamaAgCredit.com.........................................6 First South Farm Credit – South Division hfirstsouthfarmcredit.com....................................38


ASSOCIATES Alabama Living halabamaliving.coop ........................22

Mid-Star Timber Harvesting, Inc. hmidstartimber.com......................................38



F&W Forestry Serviceshfwforestry.net........................25 Silvics Solutionshsilvics.com ......................................34

Advantage Forestry Container Pines hcontainerpines.com......................................23 ArborGen LLCharborgen.com...............................32 International Forest Company hinternationalforest.co ....................................4 Meeks’ Farms & Nursery hmeeksfarms-nurserys.com...Inside Front Cover Weyerhaeuserhweyerhaeuserseedlings.com.......33 Whitfield Farms & Nursery hwhitfieldpineseedlings.com ........................36

DEALERS – WOOD SUPPLIERS Choctaw Land & Timber hchoctawlandandtimber.com...............................25

EQUIPMENT SUPPLIER Four Star Freightliner hfourstarfreightliner.com .....................................34

FORESTRY EDUCATION Alabama Forests Forever halaforestry.org .............................Inside Back Cover Project Learning Treehplt.org.....................................29 TCW Workshophalaforestry.org ............................30-31

FOREST PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS Cooper/T.Smith hcoopertsmith.com.....................Outside Back Cover Jasper Lumber Companyhjasperlumber.com .............34

Westervelt Companyhwestervelt.com ................33


SAWMILL Louisiana PacifichLPCorp.com.................................36

SPECIALTY SERVICE PRT hPRT.com.....................................................36

UTILITIES Southern Loggers Cooperative hsouthernloggers.com...................................28

Let our readers get to know your company! Call 334-481-2120 to place your company’s ad in our 4 quarterly magazines, our annual Membership Directory as well as our digital NewsRoom which is Midstar emailed 1-4 color 2015_Layout 1 uploaded 5/11/17 2:06 PM Page 1 twice monthly and on www.alaforestry.org.

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TOXEY, ALABAMA Ph: (251) 834-5407 Fax: (251) 843-2266 Tim ce ber tan Pur sis s A chasin g - Landowner

Frank Mozingo Linc: 185*338 Home: 251-843-5485 Cell: 334-456-2743 frank@midstartimber.com


WHATEVER The Farm MEANS TO YOU, LET FIRST SOUTH FINANCE IT. When it comes to timber, First South is your reliable lender. We’ve been financing The Farm since 1916, and have the knowledge and expertise to finance your timber investment or logging operation. Contact us today.

Henry Lovette Linc: 185*201 Home: 205-673-2247 Cell: 334-456-2274

Jeremiah Russell Justin Bonner Linc: 185*173 Linc: 1*27565*20 Home: 251-289-3082 Cell: 334-247-2427 Cell: 601-416-4889 justin@midstartimber.com

251-843-5407 midstartimber.com 38


Your Rural Lender FIRSTSOUTHLAND.COM | 800-955-1722


Committed to Alabama’s Future


Profile for Alabama Forestry Association

Summer 2017  

Summer 2017