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Weekly News 1/28/13

Posted By John Dorka, Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ohio Forestry Association

Weekly News 1.28.13
In this issue:

  • 2013 OFA Annual Meeting, March 6-7, Sheraton Columbus Hotel on Capitol Square - We continue finalizing plans for the 2013 OFA Annual Meeting, and we hope that many of you can make the event. This year, the meeting has been moved during the week, to change the format with the hope that many of you can make a portion or all of the meeting. The highlight of the meeting on the first day, March 6 will be an Ohio Statehouse Tour followed by a Legislative Reception outside the Museum on the first floor of the Statehouse. The Ohio Statehouse has a remarkable history and the one-hour tour should be enjoyable and enlightening for many. Following that, the Reception will provide a chance for our members to meet with their elected representatives and share thoughts and issues about our industry and forestry in general. OFA will be mailing materials to our members about the upcoming reception in preparation for a productive session.

The following day should involve some excellent presentations about what is happening in the forest products industry.

o The featured presentations can be found on the OFA website. The keynote will be provided by Kevin Thieneman, President, Caterpillar Forest Products.

o We also will have an excellent presentation fromDon Taylor with the Wood Supply Research Institute on a nationwide Consumer/Supplier Relations Study he completed to talk about important recommendations for the future of the wood supply stream

o Have you heard about the new fuel station in Chillicothe that offers lower cost highway and off-highway diesel to the forest products industry and agricultural producers? Todd Martin, Executive Director of the Southern Loggers’ Cooperative who developed the site will be there to talk about the history of the coop and future fuel and product opportunities.

o The afternoon will highlight a presentation on the latest information on the economic impact of Ohio’s Forest Products Industry, according to information in a recent study from Dr. Eric McConnell, OSU Extension Forest Operations and Products Specialist. He has some remarkable numbers on Ohio’s industry.

o Finally we’ll finish the day with a panel discussion from members in various segments of the forest products industry (lumber, flooring, cabinetry, furniture) to talk about current and anticipated market conditions and issues. The Panel will include:

                        §Larry Evans, Industrial Timber and Lumber
                        §Tony Honeycutt, Mullican Flooring
                        §Chris Guloni, American Woodmark
                        §Ernie Hershberger, Homestead Furniture
                        §Gordon Kendrick, Rockland Flooring

o We’ll finish our day and the meeting with a reception for all attendees.

  • There are still opportunities for sponsors of the show and exhibitors to register. You can register and get information on-line at the OFA website.
  • Industry News - Here are a couple articles talking about good news in the forest products industry. The first is from the Journal of Commerce and it describes that the industry will show signs of strength in 2013 due to increasing demand largely due to the improving housing market. According to the article the Case-Shiller Home Price Index hit 146.08 in October, the highest since August 2010 and a 4.3% increase from the same time a year ago. An economist for the National Association of Realtors says "home sales are recovering now based solely on fundamental demand and favorable affordability conditions.” Another article from the Globe and Mail described that Weyerhaeuser reported its best sales in 4 years. Again, the reason cited is due to the increasing housing market. Finally, the Woodworking Network has a brief article on the outlook for increasing Cherry prices and stronger Red oak demand in the months ahead.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Update - Beginning January 1 of this year, employers who conduct background checks on applicants and employees must provide each with an updated Summary of Your Rights under FCRA, a copy of which can be found here. These new requirements are the result of the recently-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which took over administration of FCRA from the Federal Trade Commission. The document, which can also be found on the CFPB website, details the requirements, but in summary several things must be done:

o The employer must let the applicant or employee know in writing that the report will be requested.

o Then the employer must receive written authorization from the employee or applicant before requesting the consumer report.

o Finally the employer must certify to the credit reporting agency that the information will be used only for purposed permitted under FCRA.

o The law states that any employer who fails to follow the procedure and requirements may be subject to lawsuits by applicants or employees.

Thanks to Hummel Group for the summary and sharing this information.

  • Paper Myths and Facts: A Balanced View - In another effort to show that wood and fiber products are environmentally friendly, sustainable, and renewable, the United Kingdom’s Confederation of Paper Industries has put together information accessed on its website that talks about a factual and balanced view of the paper industry and promotes paper as sustainable. It does so by talking about the usual "myths” that people believe which characterize wood, fiber, and the use of trees as environmentally bad. I believe that most of us are familiar with these facts and points, but it is still good to get this information in one location. It bears out that globally, use of wood and fiber is both economically and environmentally good.

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