It is always a hit with FRA regional members when two regions come together for a joint meeting. Last October’s Joint Southeastern and Southcentral Region Policy Committee Meeting, combined with a Southwide Forest Products Security Group Meeting, was no exception.
An early highlight of this meeting was an outstanding tour of Caterpillar’s LaGrange, Georgia forestry equipment manufacturing facility on October 25. The CAT staff made all FRA members feel welcome and really gave the participants an appreciation for the amount of research and attention to detail that goes into the design and building of every CAT machine. (The photo shows the FRA members at the CAT facility.)
Each of the two southern regions’ Policy Committees met jointly in the Forestry & Wildlife Sciences building at Auburn University the next day, where Forest Operations professor Tom Gallagher presented an overview of Auburn’s recent forest operations research projects and discussed Auburn’s forestry curriculum and enrollment trends. Gallagher noted that Auburn and Oregon State were the only two colleges left that still offer a forest engineering program. He reminded the Committee members that Auburn still requires an eight-week summer practicum (“forestry summer camp”) as part of its forestry degree program, and the program turns out excellent forestry graduates suited for field forestry jobs and beyond.
The well-attended Forest Products Security Group Meeting followed and included a great lineup of speakers, who addressed these topics on October 26 and 27:
Identifying & Prosecuting Timber-Related Fraud (Several Case Studies)
Smartphone App for in-Woods Loading & Load Transactions
Using a Drone to Measure Woodyard Inventory
Using Data Analytics & Exception Reports to Detect Timber Transaction Fraud
Developing a Company Timber Security Program
New Video/Surveillance Camera
Every FRA regional meeting and the annual Southwide Forest Products Security Group Meeting provide outstanding opportunities for forestry, harvesting, and trucking managers to discuss issues in common and “best practice” ideas for meeting operational and policy challenges. We encourage you to frequent the Meetings & Events link on the FRA website to see future FRA meeting info. For example, take a look at the Agenda for the March 7-9 FRA Southcentral Region Meeting near Mobile, Alabama: http://www.forestoperationsreview.org/fra/Meeting_Program_Registration_Information-SCR-Point_Clear_AL-March2017.pdf
Plan to attend FRA regional and national meetings this year!