This event starts Tuesday, March 28 at 08:00:AM and is scheduled to end Thursday, March 30 at 09:00:PM.
Kentucky Forest Industries Association (KFIA) recently completed a very successful 57th Annual Meeting in Lexington, Kentucky at the Embassy Suites on March 28-30, 2023. We had great in person participation with 375 in attendance and 37 exhibitors. The KFIA Annual Meeting serves as the premier event for the hardwood industry in Kentucky. The meeting got underway with the John C. Smith Memorial Golf Scramble where 59 participants had a cold morning but the day ended sunny and warmer at the Houston Oaks Golf Course. In the afternoon the KFIA Board of Directors took care of association business followed by a Welcome Reception with the exhibitors that was held in the evening.
Early Wednesday morning the Fellowship for Christian Lumbermen held a meeting with guest speaker Kevin Cummins from Marketplace Chaplains providing an overview of workplace chaplains and how they assist employee’s families with support. We appreciate Tony Honeycutt, Mullican Flooring for organizing this event.
KFIA President George Crawford, Merrick Hardwoods, lead off the Opening Session by welcoming everyone to Lexington followed with a state legislative and association update by KFIA Executive Director Bob Bauer. Dana Lee Cole with the Hardwood Federation discussed issues in Washington DC, impacting the timber industry, and the latest update on the Real American Hardwood Promotion. The discussions continued with other industry partners including Kentucky Department of Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles who is also a Kentucky gubernatorial candidate, Kentucky Farm Bureau President Mark Haney discussing partnerships with KFIA and assistance to the farmer who supplies much of the log supply. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service discussed the impact of the recent decision to list the long eared bat as an endangered species and the possible effect on timber sales and KY Fish and Wildlife provided information on timber sales from Fish & Wildlife Management Areas along with the outlook for the upcoming turkey season.
The morning sessions were followed by the Kentucky Tree Farm Awards Luncheon which included a rousing speech from long time wood industry supporter and past state Representative Rocky Adkins who serves as Senior Advisor to Governor Andy Beshear who provided an update on a number of projects and addressed issues facing the wood industry. The luncheon also provided an opportunity to honor individuals that help to make forestry and the wood industry a big success throughout the state.
The following were recognized for their contributions to forestry and the association in Kentucky during the luncheon:
- Tom Fetters, T-N-T Logging, Vanceburg, KY 2022 Logger of the Year (top picture)
- Lynn Johnson Tree Farm & W.M.A., Lynn Johnson, Olive Hill, KY - 2022 Tree Farmer of the Year (center picture)
- William “Bill” Knott, KY Division of Forestry, Morehead, KY- 2022 Inspector of the Year
- Rocky Adkins, Senior Advisor to the Governor Frankfort, KY – 2022 KFIA Supporter of the Year Special thanks to KFIA Member Bryan Equipment Sales located in Loveland, OH, the Kentucky STIHL distributor for donating the chainsaw for the Tree Farmer of the Year.
KFIA also recognized the following people for their leadership and service to the KFIA Board of Directors:
President - George Crawford, Merrick Hardwoods, Burnside, KY
Vice President - Tom DeFilippo, H & S Lumber, Clay City, KY
Secretary / Treasurer - Erika York, A & Y Enterprises, Marrowbone, KY
Outgoing Board Members:
John Foley, BPM Lumber LLC, Lexington, KY
Jeff Perry, J.W. Perry Lumber, Leitchfield, KY
Drew Spencer, S & S Lumber Co., Roark, KY
Jerry Starns, American Woodmark, Monticello, KY (pictured)
Paul Maxwell, Maxwell Brothers Lumber, Lewisport, KY
Newly Elected Directors:
Kevin Tudor, Domtar Paper Co. LLC, Mount Sterling, KY
Paul Byler, Hart County Hardwoods, LLC, Munfordville, KY
Canon Vice, GreenTree Forest Products, Wallingford, KY
Kenny Smith, Collett & Smith Logging, Roark, KY
As tradition continues, everyone enjoyed the Robinson Lumber Co. / Houchens Insurance Group Hospitality time with great fellowship and networking opportunities with fresh seafood and cocktails. The day ended with the Exhibitor Reception which included plenty of time to see some of the latest technology and services being offered to the wood products industry.
The Thursday morning General Session opened with Nate Irby, Railway Tie Association (pictured) discussing the tie market and the importance to the Kentucky economy. Stephanie Fuller, Alabama Forestry Association provided an update on the new Kentucky Forestry Works Program and how the program has proven successful in Alabama in helping educate young people about the wood products industry and employment opportunities. The final presenter; Bryan Burgess & Tyler Stahl from longtime KFIA supporter Houchens Insurance Group (formerly Van Meter Ins.) discussed health insurance and how to provide coverage, control costs while increasing benefits to employees.
The meeting was a huge success with many positive comments and generated excitement for seeing an improvement in hardwood markets for the industry. Those in attendance gained valuable information while having time to network with others in the hardwood industry from throughout the country and KFIA thanks all of those that attended and provided sponsorship for the meeting.
KFIA is pleased to announce that the 2024 Annual Meeting will be in Lexington at the Embassy Suites on April 2- 4, 2024.