Mid-South 2010 Recap

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ShowPhotoEven though vendor participation at the Mid-South Forest Equipment Show, held here September 17-18, was down from 2008, visitors shrugged off a tough economy and unseasonably hot weather and showed up in strong numbers for the 14th version of the event. Show management put the total two-day attendance at just over 5,600.

ShowPhotoShow Manager Charles Burkhardt said he was not surprised at the turnout, considering strong pre-registration numbers. “I was concerned about the show two months ago, but as the time drew closer I began to feel better about it. We’re pleased that it turned out so well. I believe most everybody that participated felt good about being a part of it. I want to thank all exhibitors and attendees for their participation and our staff and volunteers for all their hard work. We look forward to the next Mid-South show in 12.”

Sixty exhibitors displayed or operated machines or products worth tens of millions of dollars. Products ranged from skidders to portable sawmills, processors to grapples and insurance services to ground saws.

ShowPhotoIn keeping with tradition, the continuing education segment of the show was very popular. Loggers and foresters—mostly loggers—were awarded slightly more than 4,200 CE hours for attending multiple sessions that embraced topics ranging from timber markets to ethics.

Another good draw this year was Bobby Goodson, key figure in the Swamp Loggers series on the Discovery Channel. Along with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, the affable Goodson greeted fans at the Tigercat booth and signed caps, T-shirts and toys. It was his third time to appear at a trade show this year on behalf of Tigercat.

ShowPhotoActivities among exhibitors generated a total of $6,186 for Log A Load For Kids (Children’s Miracle Network hospitals). T-shirt sales by the Mississippi Loggers Assn. totaled $3,000. MLA ordered 300 for the show, sold 50 beforehand and ran out before the show concluded, according to MLA Executive Director Cecil Johnson. By collecting donations for catfish plates on Saturday and charging entry fees for a loader contest, Cat Forest Products and Cat dealers Thompson Machinery and Puckett Machinery collected $1,669. This total included $200 in prize money given to Tommy Carroll for placing first in the loader contest. Carroll, of Linden, Tenn., donated his winnings to the charity. John Deere and Stribling Equipment collected another $1,517 for the cause by selling chances on select John Deere toys.

The show-sponsored skidder contest attracted 63. Taking first place and $500 was Mitchell Lowery, affiliated with T.C. Mace Logging, Brilliant, Ala. He beat out his boss, Tim Mace, who placed third and pocketed $100. Second place ($300) went to Ronald Walters, owner of Walters Logging, Crystal Springs, Miss.

Ricky Smith of Enterprise, Miss. won the $500 cash prize given away by the MLA and Austin Cupit of Mead­ville, Miss. won a 32 in. TV set given away by MLA Insurance Services.

Held on-site again this year, the MLA awards banquet drew 268 participants, including keynoters Nate Clark and Joe Mastanduno, both with John Deere.

ShowPhotoNoting the many issues confront­ing the nation’s forest products industry, Clark said he is convinced that “the answers to the many pressing and contentious questions facing our forestry communities will be determined in large part by the ability of our forestry communities to build and maintain unity.” He noted that unity is the primary way to bring about change in America’s political system, and that unity is a fundamental building block of state logging associations and the American Loggers Coun­cil. He urged MLA members to strengthen their support of the organization. “By ‘support’ I mean active engagement and participation. Attend meetings. Volunteer for committees. Lend your wisdom, passion and voice.”

He suggested that forestry communities create a vision or message around which they can unify and that the vision be strong enough to expand its appeal beyond any single region or subsector of the forest industry. “Just imagine the gains that forestry communities could achieve if all of their experience, talent, passion and capacity were unified through effective organizations driven by a common vision.”

Mastanduno enlightened the group on tighter federal mandates for diesel engine emissions and how they are impacting machine purchase and maintenance costs.

ShowPhotoMLA recognized Johnny Black, owner of Johnny Black Logging, Ackerman, Miss., as its 2010 Logger of the Year. Black, who contracts with Weyerhaeuser, has logged for 25 years and has been a member of MLA since its formation in 1989. MLA President Ken Martin was recognized by Johnson for his multiple contributions and overall commitment to the organization. MLA’s South Central District was singled out for two honors: as MLA’s district of the year and Log A Load district of the year. SLT