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Lincoln County Forestry Association banquet is Thursday

An association of loggers, landowners and wildlife aficionados will meet Thursday for their annual awards and membership banquet, and the deadline for reservations is today.

The Lincoln County Forestry Association is a professional organization representing the No. 1 or No. 2 agricultural industry in the county — in close competition with poultry.

Lincoln County is one of 47 county associations under the Mississippi Forestry Association, and according to Mississippi State University Extension Agent Rebecca Bates, it’s also one of the largest.

“We have more loggers in Lincoln County than any other county,” Bates. “We are one of the largest forestry associations in the state. We’re an award winning association because of all the educational opportunities that we present to the county.”

The banquet is free to members. Dues are $15 and can be paid at the door.

“That’s for a family or a business,” Bates said. “It’s very affordable for everyone.”

Those interested in making a reservation or any other information should call the MSU Extension Office today at 601-835-3460. The event will be held at the Lincoln Civic Center at 1096 Belt Line Drive. Registration starts at 6 p.m. Thursday, and the program starts at 6:40 p.m.

Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson will be the guest speaker, and several awards will be given including Logger of the Year and Tree Farmer of the Year.

Education is one of the criteria for choosing the winner of the Top Tree Farmer award. Education plays an important role in the forestry association, and have in the past included programs for managing land for deer and turkey.

“We have a lot of members that manage their land for wildlife,” Bates said. “It’s kind of hand-in-hand with owning forestland.”