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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
FFA students from Pleasant Hill, Pittsfield, Bluffs, Winchester, Carrollton and Triopia participated in a forestry career development event at Lake Pittsfield on Tuesday.
According to Pittsfield High School FFA sponsor Jodi Heavner, the event is designed to get students outdoors to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom.
“FFA is about learning how to apply what the kids learned in the classroom,” Heavner said. “This contest is a perfect example of that.”
Heavner said the event tests student knowledge on a broad cross section of forestry related topics.
“It’s a practicum for everything forestry,” Heavner said. “It’s everything from tree identification, how to read a plat book, how to use forestry tools and learning about the parts of a chainsaw.”
Bluffs FFA Advisor Liz Alloway said the career development event gave students a practical overview of timber management.
“There are seven or eight parts to this contest,” Alloway said. “Everything from very hands-on chainsaw troubleshooting and tree I.D., to being able to read legal maps. It’s basically a lot of the things a forester would need to know to manage timber.”
Students also learned about judging the relative value of trees and stands of trees.
“They practice timber cruising – calculating the board feet of a tree,” Heavner said. “They also learn about timber stand improvement, to decide which trees to remove and which trees to leave in place.”
Winchester FFA Sponsor Bryan Barnett said the forestry event had value for students considering a forestry related career, as well as students who simply wish to manage their own land one day.
“One of the main goals is just learning about the forestry industry,” Barnett said. “But they also learn to manage and get value from trees on their farms and property.”