FRA Southcentral Region Announces 2021 Award Winners

Hutchins Family photo

The FRA Southcentral Region recently recognized its 2021 award winners during the Southwide Region Virtual Spring Meeting held on April 13th. The annual award process honors outstanding loggers as well as authors of exceptional FRA Technical Releases at the region level. This year’s award winners certainly did their part to make a positive impact on the forest products industry.

Mike Hutchins photo

The 2021 Southcentral Region Outstanding Logger is Mike Hutchins, owner of Hutch Trucking, Inc. Co-nominated by the Alabama Forestry Association and the Alabama Loggers Council, Hutch Trucking is based in Livingston, AL, and was founded in 1997. Mike employs a five-person logging crew, a fleet of five company-owned trucks, as well as an in-house crew that handles his maintenance and repair responsibilities. Mike and his crew have an outstanding record of BMP compliance, and the tracts they harvest are subject to annual third-party certification audits.

Mike and his wife, Tonya, have five children: three sons and two daughters. Hutch Trucking is the epitome of a family-owned and operated business, with several family members having a hands-on role in the company’s daily operations. Mike is not only a leader in the logging and forestry professions, but he also has the reputation of being highly active in his local community.

According to his nomination team:
“We had the privilege of speaking to many members, landowners, and business owners within his area of influence and heard of the impact that he has on those around him.”

“The quality of Mike’s work has landowners lined up in advance for his services.”

Stihl logo

Thank you to STIHL for sponsoring the FRA Regional Outstanding Logger Award. STIHL has been a generous sponsor of this award for over 25 years in each of FRA’s regions, and we would like to recognize their commitment to the logging industry.

The Southcentral Region also took time to honor two people for their exemplary technical writing in support of the forest products industry. The 2021 Second Place Technical Writing winner is Tom Gallagher, Professor of Forest Operations at Auburn University. Dr. Gallagher’s FRA Technical Release: How to Connect with Forestry Students (19-R-16) was the direct result of discussions stemming from an FRA Annual Meeting about how the industry could better engage students who would soon graduate from forestry programs and become employed in the forest products industry.

The region’s 2021 First Place Technical Writing Award winner is Steve Barnett, Vice President and Forest Products Program Manager, BITCO Insurance Companies. Steve’s Technical Release: Defensive Driving – Log Trucking (19-R-34) is a summary of a defensive driving presentation he delivered as part of a TEAM Safe Trucking Driver Training Day. The document contains several helpful techniques that truck drivers can use to ensure that safe timber transport is a top priority. Congratulations Tom and Steve!

19-R-16 and 19-R-34 can be accessed on the FRA website (log-in required).

Please take a moment to congratulate all three Southcentral Region Award winners and thank them for all they do to support FRA and the forest products industry!