Forestry equipment show celebrates 34th year

The nation’s longest continuously-running, in-woods forestry equipment show will be at Mississippi State University’s John W. Starr Memorial Forest Friday and Saturday.

In its 34th year, the Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show will feature newly developed logging equipment, technology, forestry-related vendors, continuing education opportunities and various family-friendly activities. Show Manager Misty Booth said the purpose of the show is to connect the equipment companies with local loggers, foresters and landowners.

"It’s designed as a demonstration, or a technology transfer, between equipment manufacturers and the forestry community," Booth said.

The show features three types of exhibits. First, the table-top exhibits display various vendors and organizations, such as insurance companies, forestry suppliers and the MSU College of Forest Resources. One of these vendors will be Dayton Scoggins, a chainsaw artist responsible for the carvings in dead trees left behind from Hurricane Katrina.

The second type of exhibit, the static area, is an open field filled with trucks, trailers, tires and other stationary machinery displays.

The third and most notable part of the show is the live exhibit. This area features performance demonstrations of newly developed logging equipment from manufacturing companies such as Tigercat, Caterpillar and John Deere.

The event also includes a family area with inflatables, sawdust piles children can dig through to find prizes and log trucks, and skidders available to give rides to kids.

In addition, Swamp Logger Bobby Goodson will be available for autographs.

For hungry event-goers, the MSU student chapter of the Society of American Foresters will run the concession stand as a fundraiser for their chapter, which recently earned the notable distinction of National Chapter of the Year.

On Saturday, the live exhibitors will cook food to raise money for Log-A-Load, a charity that began in 1988 with loggers donating the value of a load of logs to Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospitals. Today, the charity is one of the main fundraisers for CMN hospitals, and raises most of their money through events like the Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show.

The Mississippi Logger’s Association, one of the show’s partners, will also sell t-shirts to raise money for Log-A-Load. The proceeds from the show’s fundraising efforts will go to the Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson.

John Auel, the Professional Logging Manager Program Coordinator and MSU professor of forestry, said the show offers valuable continuing education opportunities for loggers and foresters, and is a great learning opportunity for forestry students.

Despite the show’s impressive variety of events and attractions, Booth said the best part of the event is how it brings the community together.

"What I love about the show is that it’s a collaboration of a lot of people, a huge volunteer effort," Booth said. "It just wouldn’t happen without all the partners and sponsors and supporters that come together to make it happen. The best thing about the show is the people, and the people coming together to make it happen."

The show will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 21 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 22.Tickets are $25 at the door for a two-day, all-access family pass.

All paid attendees will be entered in a raffle with the opportunity to win two $1,000 prizes. The drawings will be at 1:50 and 2:40 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and recipients must be present to claim the prize.

Although the show is geared toward loggers, foresters and landowners, the event is open to the public and includes many interesting attractions for everyone.

"We would hope that everybody at Mississippi State could be aware of (the show) and come out and see it," Booth said.

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