LCFA celebrates strong year

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Lincoln County Forestry Associationhanded out awards for the 2011 calendar year at their annualmeeting and awards banquet Tuesday night at The Lincoln CountyCivic Center.

    More than 200 people attended the banquet and listened to guestspeakers from The Mississippi Forestry Association and theMississippi Institution for Forest Inventory. The banquet concludedwith the awards ceremony.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

    Outgoing Lincoln Country Forestry Association President Joe DanLeggett was pleased with how 2011 went under his direction.

    In the year, the LCFA won several awards form the MississippiForestry Association, including one for outstanding project of theyear.

    The LCFA sponsored a scholarship for a local student to attendcollege and ran a workshop for teachers to learn more aboutforestry and the environment. The project of the year award went tothe association’s fundraiser at the Exchange Club Park in March of2011, which raised money for the scholarship.

    “We’re a very strong organization with a very good support group,”said Leggett. “We have a great group of loggers and landownersinvolved in our association and we’re excited about ourfuture.”

    Lance Griffin, owner of Griffin Logging of Lincoln County, won theLogger of the Year Award.

    Justin Johnson of the Lincoln County Forestry Association nominatedGriffin. He said Griffin leads a company that watches out for theenvironment and makes sure to give back to the community.

    “We look for people who are environmentally friendly and have aclean operation,” said Johnson. “We looked at the loggers in thecounty and he met that criteria. Griffin has a great work ethic andis very charitable, giving to St. Jude hospital and othercharities.”

    The Tree Farmer of the Year Award went to the heirs of Verdie MayPosey.

    Posey’s daughters are managing the timber on the mother’s land onbehalf of the family. The daughters managing the land to producetimber, provide land for recreation and to aid in wildlifepreservation. Their work has led to their tree farm beingrecognized as a tree farm by both the state of Mississippi and theUnited States government.

    According to Howard Stogner, Tree Farm chairman for the LincolnCounty Forestry Association, the Posey family has done great workwith the family land and has been environmentally friendly.

    “The Posey family are great managers of the property and continueto educate themselves on new practices that will benefit the timberand the wildlife,” said Stogner.

    The Lincoln County Forestry Association presented Bret Rushing withtheir $500 scholarship.

    Rushing was a 2009 graduate of West Lincoln High School. He thenwent on to Copiah-Lincoln Community College, before ending up atMississippi State University in Starkville where he is studyingforestry.

    The President’s Citation Award went to Rebecca Bates, the LincolnCounty Extension Director.

    Bates said the award meant a great deal to her.

    “This is quite an honor,” said Bates. “The Lincoln County ForestryAssociation is one of the strongest associations in the state.We’re strong because we have dedicated members and a board ofdirectors that aims to provide support for county forestry andprovide forestry education.”

    The Friend of Forestry Award was given to Dan Phillips, WilliamPhillips, and David Phillips. The Phillipses own Phillips BarkProcessing, which is a plant that takes bark and makes it intolandscaping mulch.

    Leggett said the Phillipses are very active in their church andsupport different groups in the area.

    “I’ve known the family for a long time and I’ve never heardanything bad about them or their business with anything they do,”said Leggett.

    The LCFA will aim to build off of their successes in 2011 foranother great year.

    2012 President Greg Knight said the LCFA has several things plannedfor 2012.

    The LCFA will host a spring field day and fall field day andmembers and the public will be invited. The second annual Ride theRides event during the week of Spring Break will be held at theExchange Club Park in Brookhaven.  Proceeds go to scholarship andeducational funds.

    Knight said more plans are in the works, but nothing has beenfinalized.

    “We look to take on a community involvement project at some pointthis year, but that’s still being decided,” he said.