Braving oppressive heat and humidity and temporarily brushing aside concerns over a tight market, participants in the 15th biennial Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show, held August 26-27 on a Mississippi State University forest near Starkville, Miss., turned out in record numbers. The temperature and humidity, both in the high ’90s, may have also been a show record.
According to Show Manager Misty Booth, the total two-day attendance—paid attendees, spouses, children, exhibitor personnel, show staff, students and other guests—surpassed 7,000, topping the previous record (2014) of 6,600. Attendees came from as far away as Virginia to size up the machines, products and services provided by 92 exhibitors. The previous show high for exhibitors, 86, dated to 2006.
The family-friendly show generated $10,669 for Log-A-Load for Kids through the sale of merchandise by the Mississippi Loggers Assn., and through donations for food prepared on-site by Stribling Equipment, B&G Equipment, Thompson Machinery and Puckett Machinery.
Sponsored by B&G Equipment, the loader contest was a strong draw. Top finishers were: Charles Garrett, Glen Henderson Logging, New Augusta, Miss., Lee Powers, Doug Powers, Inc., Carthage, Miss., and Clay Maxwell, Stott Wood Co., Olla, La. Top three in the skidder contest, sponsored by Stribling Equipment, were Thomas Mitchell, Waugh & Waugh, LLC, Duck Hill, Miss., Perry Lofton, Jr., Perry Lofton Logging, Mount Vernon, Ala., and Alex Johnson, Sojourner Timber, Crystal Springs, Miss.
Mississippi loggers Billy Sanford, Mantee, and Tim Mahan, Golden, each won $1,000 cash giveaways, courtesy of the Mississippi Loggers Assn. The YETI cooler given away by ForesTree Equipment Trader was won by Brian Butler, Laurel, Miss.
As is customary for the event, hundreds of loggers and foresters took advantage of continuing education classes conducted on-site.
Despite tight delivery quotas felt by most loggers, a few machine purchase deals were reportedly made, and some vendors developed strong leads. “Yeah, we developed some leads, but mostly we just had a good time visiting with our customers,” said one vendor rep.
The event is a joint undertaking of Mississippi State University, Mississippi Forestry Assn. and Mississippi Loggers Assn.