UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Businesses and individuals connected to Pennsylvania's forest-products industry -- and anyone interested in sound management of the state's renewable natural resources -- can learn about goods, services, best practices and industry trends at the 2019 Forest Products Equipment and Technology Exposition, Friday, June 7, and Saturday, June 8, at Penn State's Ag Progress Days site at Rock Springs.
Known as Timber 2019, the biennial trade exposition is aimed primarily at loggers, sawmill operators, value-added processors and forest landowners. The event is hosted by the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association. Parking and admission are free.
The leading hardwood-producing state in the nation, Pennsylvania is home to more than 2,100 forest-products companies and 500,000 forest landowners. More than 80,000 Pennsylvanians work in the forest-products industry, accounting for about one of every nine manufacturing jobs in the state. The industry generates nearly $12 billion in annual sales and contributes about $19 billion a year to the state's economy.
Organizers expect Timber 2019 to attract more than 80 commercial exhibitors and vendors serving the forest-products industry and emerging biomass markets. The event offers owners and employees of forest-products companies a chance to stay abreast of new technology, according to show manager Jesse Darlington, of Penn State.
"The expo will have high-quality indoor and outdoor exhibitors with a focus on forest products harvesting and processing, value-added services, land clearing, and biomass markets," he said. "Visitors can see the latest technology in action at our in-the-woods demonstrations and can test-drive selected equipment at a ride-and-drive area."
Darlington said demonstrations will feature a range of forest-product technologies and equipment, including feller bunchers with processing heads, wheeled loaders, log skidders, horizontal grinders and chippers.
Brian Rider, Pennsylvania Forest Products Association executive director, noted that the expo also provides valuable professional development for industry personnel.
"Staying up to date with evolving technology, regulations and best practices is essential for business success," he said. "Timber 2019 will provide opportunities for networking and continuing education that can help employees to enhance their skills and companies to improve their bottom lines."
Rider noted that a Pennsylvania Sustainable Forestry Initiative training course scheduled on June 7 will enable loggers to meet their annual PA SFI continuing-education requirements. The course is free to attend, with a $20 administrative fee charged to those who wish to register for continuing-education credit.
Other planned Timber 2019 activities include the following:
--Penn State Woodsmen's Team demonstrations. Team members, who travel to compete in various regional and national collegiate events, will hold axe-throwing competitions on both days of the expo and will demonstrate other skills, such as underhand chopping and crosscutting, on Saturday.
--Game of Logging national finals. A competition based on a world-recognized chain saw skills curriculum, this contest -- which includes landowner and professional logger divisions -- combines Scandinavian logging techniques with the latest systems for working safely around trees. Qualifiers from state-level competitions will compete Saturday in categories such as Bore Station, Spring Pole, Big Stump, Precision Stump, Speed Cut and Tree Felling.
--Woodlot management tours offered by Penn State forestry experts on both days will explore issues and concerns facing Pennsylvania forestland, such as forest pests, tree regeneration, watershed protection and wildfires. Aimed at the public, forest landowners and industry professionals, the tours will help visitors understand some of the challenges of sustaining the state's woodlands.
--Penn State's Pasto Agricultural Museum will present hands-on exhibits focusing on timber and logging history. The "Axe Whisperer," Jim Walizer, will share his passion for the history of timber, logging and forestry in presentations each day.
--"Log-a-Load for Kids" Truck Parade. The forest-product industry's charitable efforts will be highlighted by a procession of vehicles that will begin at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on the University Park campus, proceed through downtown State College, continue on state routes 26 and 45, and end on Main Street on the show grounds. The event will culminate with a check presentation to the Children's Miracle Network. Nationally, the annual "Log a Load for Kids" campaign, during which individuals and businesses in the logging and forestry industries donate the value of a load of logs, has raised about $20 million to help sick and injured children.
The Ag Progress Days site -- at Penn State's Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center -- is nine miles southwest of State College on state Route 45.
Primary sponsors for Timber 2019 include Forest Products Credit by AgChoice FC, Foster F. Wineland Inc., Pendu Manufacturing Inc., Taylor Machine Works Inc. and Cleveland Brothers/Peterson Pacific.
More information about Timber 2019, including details on exhibiting and sponsorship opportunities, is available by calling 814-863-2873 or by visiting the show website at https://agsci.psu.edu/timber.
Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #PaTimberShow.