Competitions, Demonstrations Highlight New York State’s Forestry Industry
The 2018 Great New York State Fair will celebrate its second annual Timber Sports and Forestry Experience Day with exhibitions, draft horses and professional lumberjack demonstrations. Held Sunday, September 2, the event will include fun-filled activities like speed climbing, pulp toss, log rolls, and saw and axe demonstrations.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “New York State is a national leader in hardwood timber production and we’re grateful to those who work in and manage our forests, as well as the businesses that create our wood products. They are a major part of our agricultural industry and they help our economy. We are glad to showcase their work, their contributions and their talents at the Great New York State Fair.”
Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner said, “Whether it’s watching our collegiate timber sports teams perform the axe throw or seeing our draft horses at work, there’s plenty of fun to be had at our Timber Sports and Forestry Experience Day. There are also opportunities to learn about careers in forestry, threats to trees, and even how to reduce exposure to deer ticks.”
A draft horse demonstration kicks off the celebration at 10:30 a.m., followed by teams from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, SUNY Morrisville, SUNY Cobleskill and Paul Smith’s College performing crosscut, bowsaw, axe throw, underhand chop, logrolling, speed climbing and more. Fairgoers can enjoy a Lumberjack Hall of Fame Museum and meet professional lumberjacks, courtesy of the New York State Woodsmen's Field Days of Boonville. Professional lumberjack competition champions Dave and Peg Engasser will show off their skills, while Cornell Cooperative Extension will host an educational forestry exhibit. A logging truck and mobile sawmill will also be on display.
The events take place in the New York Experience Area, on the west end of the grounds. The site is accessible by the Sky Ride, above the Wade Shows Midway, and via the Fair's free trams, sponsored by Chevrolet.
Forestry Department Chair, International Paper Endowment Chair of Forestry Economics, Head Coach of Woodsmen’s Team and Teamster for the Draft Horse Program at Paul Smith’s College, Brett McLeod, Ph.D., said, “The thing I love about this event is the way it connects our heritage to the present. In addition to old time lumberjack skills, the event also highlights modern, low-impact forestry techniques and equipment. That’s evident at the Paul Smith’s College Forestry display that has both a state-of-the-art logging simulator and traditional draft horses that are used for logging on small parcels and on sensitive sites.”
Onondaga County Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Director David Skeval, said, “The Timber Sports and Forestry Day is a great chance for the public to learn how our native New York forest functions. This is an opportunity to talk with experts about the invasive pests that are threatening our forests, and it is a great chance to see a log open up as it is sawn.”
Associate Professor of Forestry and Renewable Resources at SUNY Morrisville, and Certified Forester with the Society of American Foresters, Brendan Kelly, said, “It is great that the Morrisville students and members of New York forest products industry get to be a part of the Fair. Both the Morrisville students and the New York forest products industry see how valued they are in providing renewable resources from our forests and they get to demonstrate to others how these resources are obtained while protecting our woods for future generations of New Yorkers.”
Timber Sports and Forestry Experience Day began last year at the recommendation of the New York State Wood Products Development Council.
About the New York State Wood Products Development Council
The Council was created to promote our state’s forestry industry while supporting sustainable, environmentally-responsible policies. Members are appointed by Governor Cuomo. The Council aims to support and encourage forestry and the manufacture of wood products, improve public understanding and appreciation of New York State’s forests industry and resources. and to direct attention to funding and projects that support forestry.
About New York State’s Forestry and Timber Industry
New York State has more forestland than any other state in the Northeast. Wood is a renewable and sustainable resource that contributes to thousands of products that are recyclable and energy efficient. New York State’s forest industry partners take pride in stewardship of the land. That includes 19 million acres devoted to the timber industry, which fuels the economy, tourism and recreation – creating over 40,000 jobs and supporting $2.5 billion in labor income.