2017 VLA Annual Meeting Presentations

Below you will find a variety of the presentations displayed at the 2017 VLA Annual Meeting. Click on the presentation titles to view the PDF documents.

Housing Outlook by Dr. Urs Buehlman

Urs Buehlmann is Professor, Virginia Tech Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, and focuses on manufacturing systems and on assessing industry competitiveness. Urs has given special focus to the impact of foreign competition on the wood products industry and its relationship with the U.S. housing market. Urs talked about the housing market in the future and where it has been.

Change is Constant, Finding True North A Challenge by DK Knight

DK Knight, is Co-Publisher, Executive Editor and business partner with Hatton-Brown Publishers, Inc., a privately held small business established in 1948 and based in Montgomery, Ala. Hatton-Brown dominates the U.S. forest products publications field with the titles Timber Harvesting, Southern Loggin’ Times, Timber Processing, Panel World, and Wood Bioenergy. DK gave a great history of the forest products industry showing that our history has been full of many changes and challenges. He talked about where the best markets and our future may lie!

Forest Products Industry: Past, Present and Future by Dr. Bob Smith

Bob is head of the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials and Associate Dean for Extension in the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech. In his current role he leads 15 faculty in one of the leading departments in sustainable biomaterial science in North America. Dr. Smith discussed the development of forest products and described the current and exciting emergence of Cross Lamininated Timber, Nanotechnology and Green Building materials.

Pulp & Paper Perspective by Kirby Funderburke

Kirby Funderburke is Director of Eastern Division operations of WestRock’s Forest Resources group, where he oversees wood procurement for the WestRock mills in South Carolina and Virginia. He is also responsible for biomass procurement for Dominion Virginia Power’s Pittsylvania and Altavista power stations. Kirby spoke of WestRock packaging, local and global markets, costs and southwide pulpwood stumpage price trends.

Overview of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration by Craig Feister

Craig has served in Federal Service for over 30 years. He holds the current position of Division Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Virginia Office. Mr. Feister has held various positions with the agency in their Baltimore Regional Office and in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia. Craig covered what the FMCSA does and what we need to do comply with their regulations and stay safe. Craig also covered the lates on ELDs and SMS.

A History of Positive Change by Pete Stewart

Forest2Market’s President/CEO and founder, Pete Stewart, is a 25-year veteran of the forest products industry. Pete established Forest2Market in 2000 when he began collecting transaction-level timber pricing data, and he continues to take the lead in developing new products and services to meet the needs of a changing forest industry. In addition to his broad experience in the United States, Canada and Brazil, Stewart has done extensive in-country market research in South America, New Zealand, Australia, China, Western Russia, the Baltics, Scandinavia, Poland, Belarus, and France. Pete gave a great overview of regional and global markets and insights into where future markets are best.

TEAM Safe Trucking by Keith Biggs, President of Forestry Mutual Insurance Company

In 2001 Forestry Mutual created a wholly owned commercial lines insurance agency now known as FMIC Agency Inc. and Keith Biggs was named the President of the agency. Keith provided a great overview of the purpose of TEAM Safe Trucking and what this committed group of diverse industry representatives are doing to bring down our commercial logging vehicle accident rate.

Adapting to a Changing Landscape by Dr. Paul Winistorfer

Paul is Dean of The College of Natural Resources and Environment which is celebrating its 25th anniversary during the 2017-2018 school year. Once a department and then a school in the College of Agriculture, the program has evolved and diversified over the past 25 years to become the #1 ranked program in the United States for the third consecutive year. Paul welcomed everyone to campus and gave a great history lesson of the evolvement of the College and the many accomplishments.

A Guide to Practical Weather and Climate Information for Loggers

Dr. Andrew Ellisis an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Virginia Tech with expertise and interests in the subfields of meteorology and climatology. This presentation will provide guidance for obtaining the most accurate and relevant weather and climate information in support of logging operations year-round.

Virginia Tech Harvesting Overview and VT Operations Projects

See how VLA Loggers Perform in Virginia Harvesting compared to Non-Members and Much More.

Energy Policy and Pellets

Henry Quesada focuses on energy and biomass, US biomass projects, prices and costs, the wood peleets industry and glimpses into the future.

2017 Logger of the Year

Ray Sickal, owner of Sickal’s Logging, Inc. was awarded the E. K. Pittman Safety Logger of the Year Award.