On Friday, May 1st, several members of the homeschool group from Madison County, REACH, took a field trip to the woods operation of Gray Logging, LLC. The students, along with their parents, met at Gray Logging, LLC’s shop and business headquarters. Jerry Gray, owner and operator of Gray Logging, LLC welcomed them. He discussed with the students the many things that are made from wood, how wood products are an important and beneficial part of our lives, and that “wood is good”. Hard hats were passed out to all.
Next, the group was able to travel to the woods operation. Special thanks to the landowner, Mitchell L. McElroy, for allowing this field trip to take place on his property. The students were divided into two groups and the excitement and fun began.
One group went with Todd Witt, local forester with Genesis Timber, LLC. He discussed various tree species, determining the age of a tree, and the renewability and sustainability of the forest. He bored a hole in a pine tree and pulled out the core for examination. The students were able to count the rings and determine the age of the tree, which was twenty-four years.
Another group was under the direction of Joshua Light, Logging Operations and Tract Manager for Genesis Timber, LLC. He discussed the job of each piece of equipment used in the woods operation and each student was able to see and touch the equipment. The students were allowed to ride on the loader. Then, the groups switched.
To end the day, Jerry Gray presented each student with a Longleaf Pine seedling to be planted at home. The seedlings were donated by Superior Trees, Inc. of Lee, Florida. Forester Todd Witt gave the instructions on planting and caring for the seedling which is native to our area. In, it was a fun learning experience.