The 81st Annual Oregon Logging Conference (OLC) was the biggest show in many years, and the outside exhibit was the biggest yet in the more than eight decades it has been taking place. More state-of-the-art heavy equipment was on display this year in the outside exhibit area. Exhibitors were at the show talking about products and services available to the logging, construction, trucking, and heavy equipment industries.
Thousands of people visited the event, held at the Lane Events Center and Fairgrounds in Eugene Oregon, including hundreds of elementary and high school students.
The theme for the 81st Annual OLC was Building Products for Building Futures and 2019 OLC President Jim Dudley said it “reflects the power of our industry to grow our nation’s future. At this year’s Conference we took the opportunity to educate the next generation workforce for the timber industry,” Dudley added, “and reintroduce ourselves to the public at large.”
2019 OLC President Jim Dudley and family
Future Forestry Workers Career Day
More than 500 high school students from 30 schools attended the hand-on 2nd Annual Future Forestry Workers Career Day on February 22, 2019. The students got to take turns learning how to plant trees, operate a small excavator, run a chainsaw and talk with industry professionals about wildland firefighting, diesel mechanics, and more. The students also were told of current job and career opportunities in the logging, trucking, and natural resource industries, and the skills needed to pursue those opportunities.
Elementary School visits
With a focus on education, several hundred Elementary School children also visited the OLC, getting an up close and personal look at the large equipment on display and learning more about the logging industry.
Oregon Logging Conference Foundation Auction
More than $28,000 was raised from the two days of auctions, held during the Thursday and Friday morning breakfasts. Money raised from this auction will help provide scholarships to students pursuing careers in logging and related careers.
Guest speakers were Dr. Anthony B. Davis, Interim Dean of Forestry at Oregon State University, and Erin Isselmann, Executive Director of Oregon Forest Resources Institute OFRI). Dr. Davis was focused on the Building Products piece of the OLC theme, speaking about renewable wood products beginning to replace high rise concrete and steel building materials. Isselmann highlighted the many education programs at OFRI addressing the Building Futures piece of the OLC theme.
Conference seminar and Panels
New technology in logging included presentations on innovations in cable logging, advantages of grapple logging, and the future of automation: tower logging at night. Seminars included Life Flight landing zone, loading, and capabilities, changes in truck regulations, tier 4 engines and the Oregon and Washington Forest Practices Acts. As well as two seminars presented by Wendy Farrand, Agile In The Woods and Loggers’ Don’t Leave it to Culture.
OLC Conference Manager Rikki Wellman said, “We couldn’t put on this successful show without the support of all of our sponsors, and the participation of all of our vendors. “We are proud to promote and showcase the logging industry,” she added, “and contribute to its continued growth and expansion.
Log Loader Competition
The names of two of the three winners in the 10th Annual Log Loader Competition will sound very familiar, as they have traded off placing first and second for the last several years.
First place this year was Zane Bryant, of Bryant Logging, with a time of 3:03:53. Second place was Bryan Chipps, of Green Diamond Resource Company, with a time of 3:09:22, and third place was Justin Jackola, Bruce Burke Logging, with a time of 4:27:34.
Desserts for Dreams
OLC First Lady Michelle Dudley hosted the annual Dessert for Dreams luncheon, held at the Hotel Eugene and featuring delectable desserts and delicious salads. Each year the First Lady chooses a charity to benefit from the proceeds. This year the proceeds will support Douglas County Partners for Student Success and the Umpqua Valley STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) hub. Over $6,500 was raised and will be donated to the causes selected.
Family Day at OLC
Family fun and education is the focus on the final day of the OLC, and hundreds of people turned out to take part in the activities. There were bird houses to be built, learning how to crosscut saw, seeing live wildlife, and of course enjoying face painting, balloons, cotton candy and popcorn. This event took place at the Wheeler Pavilion on the Lane County Fairgrounds.
Guess the Net Scale
Cindy Koch of Emerald Valley Cruising, a timber cruising comp