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Top logger, tree farmer to get honors

The county’s top logger and tree farmer will both be honored Thursday at the annual Lincoln County Forestry Association’s Membership and Awards banquet.

Those two individuals will be joined by the winner of the MSU Friend of Forestry Award, said Extension Agent Rebecca Bates.

Registration for the annual banquet, which is held each January, is required to attend. Call 601-835-3460 by 5 p.m. today to register.

The banquet is free to members. A family membership is $15 and can be paid at the door.

“We always like to say if you go to one event, you’ve basically eaten your dues. We always feed you well,” Bates said.

Cross Country of Hattiesburg will provide the entertainment at the event, which will be held at the Lincoln Civic Center.

Bates said the Lincoln County Forestry Association is made up of foresters, loggers and landowners plus people who are interested in wildlife. The association coordinates educational programs such field days in the spring and the fall. Programs in the past have targeted land management for deer and turkey.

“Most people who own forest land, whether they’re growing it for timber or not, still want it managed for wildlife. They’ll still want to hunt it or have hunting leases,” she said.

A committee nominates individuals for the awards.

The top logger is someone who follows good safety practices and is a good steward of the land during logging operations, she said.

To choose the top tree farmer, they look at how the farmer manages his or her forest and if the person opens his or her property up for educational events.

The Friend of the Forestry Award goes to either an individual or a company that has gone beyond what is expected in helping the association, she said.

The winners of the top tree farmer and logger can compete on the district level and then the state level.

“If they make it that far they can go on to the southeast area of the United States,” she said.

Doors open for sign-in and seating at 6 p.m. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.