Opportunities Abound In Starkville

Expect a few new wrinkles at this year’s family-friendly Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show, which gets underway for two days on October 5 just south of here.

The October time frame itself is new, a departure from the September and June dates of the past. That means more comfortable conditions.

Along with many regulars offering everything from loaders to processing heads to chain saw chain, there will be several new exhibitors, among them providers of insurance, credit, clothing, lubricants, truck service bodies, tires, rebuilt skidder components, mulchers, gaskets and culverts. Show Manager Misty Booth says the number of exhibitors already exceeds that of 2010 and will challenge the record number of 2008.

A used equipment auction will be another first. Martin & Martin Auctioneers will start the action around 1 p.m. Saturday in the static area and will donate half the buyer’s premium to Log-A-Load For Kids.

In addition to its traditional skidder contest, this year courtesy of Stribling Equipment and John Deere, the show is sponsoring a loader competition, thanks to B&G Equipment and Tigercat. Mid-South will reward the first, second and third place winners of each contest with $500, $300 and $100, respectively. Contestants are advised to arrive early on either day to assure themselves a chance to win.

In keeping with tradition, seven on-site continuing education classes/presentations will be offered for loggers, foresters and landowners and are available on a first come, first-serve basis. Topics include power line safety, credit management, tier 4i diesel engine emissions and forestry ethics. Two-hour field presentations include operator select thinning, hardwood management and pine genetics. All sessions are included in the admission fee.

A special event during the on-site awards banquet of the Mississippi Loggers Assn. on Saturday evening will be the dedication of the Charles E. Burkhardt Pavilion and Site. Burkhardt, Forest Supervisor at Mississippi State University for more than 30 years, was a driving force in founding the Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show in the mid ‘80s and helped grow it into a major regional event. He died September 9, 2011.

The event again will be staged adjacent to state highway 25 about six miles south of Starkville. Show hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Admission is $15 per person. Spouses and minor aged children are admitted free.

The popular children’s activity area been expanded, according to Booth. Based on preregistration activity, another good turnout is expected.