Goodbye 2023, Hello 2024!
A Glimpse of Several Good Things to Come in the Year Ahead
Last week, you received a comprehensive overview of FRA’s accomplishments during 2023. It was an effective way to highlight what FRA provided in 2023; however, the article also serves as a great segue to share several new and exciting things to come during 2024. And there is no need to worry. Members can still expect to see many of the popular deliverables they routinely enjoy from FRA: semiannual regional and national meetings, weekly Issue Updates, quarterly Technical Releases and Safety Alerts, and periodic webinars focusing on high-priority topics for FRA membership. But as we turn our calendars to January bringing in a new year, there’s no time better than the present to give you a glimpse of what is in store for 2024.
New Member Spotlight
Let’s start with our weekly Woods to Mill outreach. Plans are underway to launch a “New Member Spotlight” series. These articles are intended to provide new FRA members with a forum to introduce their company to the entire FRA community. They will also have an opportunity to share some insight on why they decided to become FRA members and what they expect to receive from FRA in return. Everyone has choices on how to spend their time and money, and FRA staff are eager to learn what motivates new members to join and how we can ensure we meet member expectations and maximize the value of FRA membership.
Exciting news for all Instagram enthusiasts! FRA is gearing up to join this vibrant social media platform, marking yet another strategic move to elevate our online presence and extend the visibility of both FRA and the entire forest products supply chain to a global audience. Instagram proves to be the ideal canvas for connecting with the future workforce, providing a dynamic space where visually captivating content and interactive features effortlessly align with the preferences and behaviors of the upcoming generation. Stay tuned for a fresh and engaging experience as we embark on this exciting journey!
Get ready for an impactful virtual experience in 2024 with the ongoing FRA Webinar series. Forest Products Security is set to be a highlighted topic in our lineup, featuring an installment that delves into the intersection of Artificial Intelligence with a forestry or forest products perspective. Our webinar series will encompass a range of subjects, from workforce dynamics and the current economic outlook to effective strategies for engaging legislative leaders. Stay tuned for an enriching and diverse exploration of relevant industry themes.
Timber Harvesting and Procurement Short Course
This popular short course is certainly not new. In fact, FRA just concluded the 52nd installment last month in Auburn, Alabama. The course is primarily designed for recent forest products industry hires; however, several mid-career attendees new to the forest products industry have benefitted from the course.
The goal is to provide enhanced harvesting and procurement skills for those employed in various wood supply chain sectors. Procurement foresters, loggers, forestry consultants, and transportation managers have all benefited from the 3-day course. Most recent university graduates from accredited SAF programs receive some degree of harvesting and procurement training and education on campus. But it’s not enough. The collective forest products industry has identified the need for this course, and FRA has responded. Fifty-two times.
FRA’s 2023 Timber Harvesting & Procurement Short Course trained 27 employees representing 9 FRA member companies. Some topics covered included supply chain management, communications, harvesting, timber security, procurement and timber appraisal, and wood quality (log and chip).
This year, the short course added several new topics to better represent an evolving industry and wood supply system (i.e., data analytics, embracing supply chain technology, and certification). A full course agenda can be found here. Course instructors are drawn from FRA member companies, many of them being short course graduates themselves.
FRA 2023 Timber Harvesting & Procurement Short Course attendees.
Canfor’s Clint Rounsaville serving as an instructor on Log Quality.
So why is the Timber Harvesting & Short Course topic included in a 2024 preview article? You guessed it! FRA is exploring opportunities to grow the course in 2024. Multiple course installments each year? Possibly. We must ensure an adequate pool of course instructors willing and available to volunteer their time. Does this include hosting the course outside of FRA’s Southwide Region footprint? Maybe. We need to ensure adequate demand for the course in other FRA Regions. Also, a great host must be willing to embrace the challenge of providing weeklong support and hospitality for approximately 45 eager forest products industry professionals, both young and old! (Shout out to you, Auburn University!)
I conclude by wishing everyone a safe, happy, and productive 2024. Rest assured; the entire FRA team is busy ensuring we provide the maximum return on your investment in FRA. We appreciate your continued support!