This year Donny Moon of the LSU AgCenter added another public education opportunity to the fantastic events at the Louisiana Forestry Awareness and Festival week in Winn Parish. Landowners from around Louisiana were invited to learn more about the forest products industry by touring pine and hardwood mills and learning more about the products the industry produces from local trees. On April 25, landowners from around Louisiana joined Moon and the staff from the LSU AgCenter for the first Forest Awareness Mill Tour.
The tour began at the parish courthouse and traveled to see Winn Timber Company just outside of Winnfield. There the participants were treated to coffee and doughnuts along with the opportunity to watch employees convert pine and hardwood logs into wood chips for shipment to regional paper facilities. Next on the tour was a stop at the West Fraser Mill in Joyce. At this facility, larger diameter pine logs are converted into structural lumber. The tour included a production line and a look at how lumber is graded at the mill. From there the group was treated to a delicious catfish lunch at David’s Pro-Burger in Joyce. No one left hungry!
The afternoon began with a tour of PBS Lumber Manufacturing in Winnfield. This mill focuses on turning small diameter logs into two-by-fours and other smaller dimensional lumber. Our host explained product optimization to the tour participants while they watched each piece of lumber be graded as it was cut. At the end of the tour he also gave all the participants a jar of his famous pickles as a treat. The second stop in the afternoon was just next door at Hixson Lumber Sales. This facility makes treated lumber. The tour group was shown the treatment plant and a variety of products that were made there, including not only the familiar green treated rot-resistant lumber but also a new fire-resistant lumber. The last stop on the tour was a drive through the grounds at the Hanna Manufacturing facility. At Hanna Manufacturing the tour group learned about the large wooden mats being produced for oil field and timber harvesting use as well as pallet production.
At the end of the day, everyone enjoyed good conversation and good food and learned a bit more about what happens to the timber that is harvested off their properties. Moon hopes to make this mill tour day a regular part of the Louisiana Forestry Awareness and Festival week each year during the fourth week in April. So, get out your calendars for 2020 and pencil in the fourth Thursday in April and contact Mr. Moon at the LSU AgCenter office in Winn Parish to participate.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture