OFA Summer Meeting/OWIN Tour
OFA Summer Meeting and OWIN Tour are now history, but the two-day gathering
turned out to be a great events. More than 110 participants took part in
the two-day affair which started on Wednesday, July 24 with the OFA Board
meeting, followed by the OWIN Tour in the afternoon. The tour first
stopped at the OSU South Centers in Piketon for discussions from staff in the
Business Development Center. The group then went to the Glatfelter
Merchandising Yard which was directly behind the OSU facility to view the log
merchandising operations. There was also a demonstration of truck mats
produced by Kenny Adkins of Kenny Adkins Logging. Following the OWIN Tour,
there was an enjoyable OWIN Reception at the Christopher Conference Center in
Chillicothe. On Thursday, July 25, 20 teams played golf at the Portsmouth
Elks Country Club and 30 shooters shot sporting clays at Andersons in
Lucasville. Following the completion of activities, there was a steak
dinner catered by the Scioto Ribber Restaurant from Portsmouth along with
awards in the golf course club house to finish festivities. In spite of
the change of location from Marietta which hosted the event the last 3 years,
attendance was slightly higher and everyone truly enjoyed a day of remarkably
good and unseasonably moderate July weather. We wish to thank our many
sponsors who helped to make the event so successful:
Tour Bus – Brenneman Lumber Co.
Reception – Industrial Timber and Lumber Co., Ohio Valley Veneer, Inc., and
Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, Inc.
Dinner Reception – Glatfelter, Murphy Tractor and Equipment Co., and Yoder
Beverages – Superior Hardwood of Ohio, Inc.
Hole and/or Clay Station Sponsors:
Dewey Thompson Financial
Hardwood Lumber Co.
Presswood Pallets, Ltd.
Tractor and Equipment Co.
Valley Veneer, Inc.
Valley Hardwoods, LLC
Ridge Woods, Ltd.
Lumber Co., LLC
Hardwoods of Ohio, Inc.
River Hardwoods, Inc.
Lumber Co., Inc.
See the OFA
website for a list of award winners and other highlights of the event.
Thousand Cankers Disease Update/TCD Seminar
July 31, 2013
Last week, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA)
held a conference call for a number of interested parties to provide an update
on the latest information with Thousand Cankers Disease occurrence in
Ohio. The news was not good as ODA advised that trapping this year has
turned up more Walnut Twig Beetles in the area of the original find in Butler
County. In addition, it appears nearly certain that the disease has been
isolated from the Twig Beetles. ODA advised that parties should expect a
news release to go out this week explaining the status of the latest finds and
plans for a product quarantine for the area. I will forward that as soon
as it is made public. For those who are in a position to attend, OSU
Extension is hosting a TCD Seminar on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at the Butler
County Extension Office, 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45011. The
seminar is held in conjunction with the Ohio Society of American Foresters
Summer Meeting. You
can find more information at the Ohio SAF website.
Farm Bill May Go to Conference Committee
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee requested that the Farm Bill go to
Conference Committee. You recall that recently the House passed a scaled
down version of the Farm Bill that included only direct farm-related issues
(imagine that!) and did not include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program (food stamp program) which traditionally included 80% of the total Farm
Bill funding. The Senate had passed a one-year extension on the previous
Farm Bill, which would expire September 30 of this year. But it maintained
the SNAP funding, albeit at a lower level. Speaker Boehner indicated that
he has no definite time frame to address SNAP in the House.
BWC Defends Group Rating Case in Appeals
The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation is in the process of
defending the Group Rating Program in the 8th District Court of
Appeals following a ruling by a Cuyahoga County judge that the Group Rating
program resulted in premium over-charges to 264,000 Ohio employers while
offering discounts of initially up to 90% (and is now at 53%) to employers in
the program. The court judgment against BWC amounted to $859 million
which would be paid back to the employers if the ruling proceeds. In an
unusual case where business and labor stand together, the Ohio Chamber of
Commerce, NFIB, and the AFL-CIO have filed an amicus brief in support of the
BWC program. BWC argued that the court made multiple legal errors in its
determination and is strongly maintaining that the Bureau is acting within its
authority to administer the program. Plaintiffs are expected to file a
response in a month, with 3-4 months of oral arguments. A final decision
may come in 6 months according to attorneys affiliated with the case.
"Clean Ohio” Bond Appropriation Doubled in
After not providing for any Clean Ohio funding in
the previous biennium budget, the legislature doubled the requested $26 million
appropriation from the administration and approved $52 million in bonds for the
next biennium. The funding will go toward a number of environmental programs:
75% will go toward the Green Space Conservation program which purchases
environmentally sensitive areas. The remaining 25% will be used to
preserve farmland and construct recreation trails. The Clean Ohio Fund
program is currently authorized for $200 million in bonds and the most recent
appropriation will exhaust that amount. The question now is what happens
with Clean Ohio in the future, which could include going back for a new vote on
the program, or simply trying to renew bond obligations as old bonds are
Tennessee Company Patents and Commercializes
Waste Wood to Coal-Like Biofuel
EnviraCarbon, a company from
Kingsport, TN has commercialized its proprietary technology which turns waste
wood into a coal-like biofuel through a process that molecularly changes the
feedstock. It is called EnvirAnized Biofuel (EBF). The product
literally looks like and has the physical properties of coal and because of
that coal burning facilities can use the fuel without any expensive equipment
changes or modifications. EBF has the same heat value as eastern,
bituminous coal, but emits far fewer emissions and pollution. You
can read more in this article.
Census Bureau New On-line Tool Sorts
Statistics by Congressional District
Last week, the US Census Bureau
unveiled My Congressional District,
an on-line statistics tool that allows users to gather information by various
categories including people, jobs, housing, economic and education. You
simply go to the site, select a state and then Congressional District by number
and then the site will provide statistics by the various categories.
Former ODNR Director Robert Teater Passes
Former ODNR Director Robert (Bob) Teater passed away on July 20
from complications with Parkinson’s Disease. Bob had an amazing career in
public service where he held positions including Associate Dean of the OSU
College of Agriculture and then Director of the OSU School of Natural
Resources; he was ODNR Director under the Governor Rhodes administration and
then made an unsuccessful run at governor in 1982. Bob founded a
natural resources consulting firm, Robert W. Teater and Associates, which
provided lobbying services to OFA via Karl Gebhardt when he was with the firm.
(Karl also briefly served as the OFA interim Executive Director). Bob was
a retired two-star general with the Ohio National Guard and then served as a
Columbus City School Board member which I personally think is one of the most
thankless jobs there is. Bob was always a friend of forestry and among
his many positive traits, the two that stand out to me is that he served with
the utmost honesty and integrity, and he had an astounding memory for
names. He never forgot your name after meeting him once. Here
is an article in the Columbus Dispatch on Bob.
5th International Hardwood
Conference, September 18-20, 2013, Brussels, Belgium
Federation of Sawmill Industries, on behalf of the European Organization of the
Sawmill (EOS) Industries is hosting the a conference on hardwoods and related
issues September 18-20, 2013. The three primary topic areas include
reports and discussion on market developments and trends within the hardwood
markets, wood mobilization, and marketing strategies and trends. You can
find more information on the EOS
Cankers Disease Seminar, OSU Extension, Hamilton, Ohio, July 31,
here for more details.
Lumberman’s Outing, Orrville/Fredericksburg, OH, September 11, 2013
Bunyan Show, Guernsey County Fairgrounds, October 4-6, 2013