The Forest Resources Association’s Appalachian Region and STIHL Incorporated honored Sam Trott of Shelbyville, Tennessee as the Region’s 2013 Outstanding Logger at its annual awards dinner in Norton, Virginia recently. FRA’s Appalachian Region Chairman Brian Gingerich presented Sam Trott, co-owner of Trott Lumber Co., Inc., with a wooden crosscut-saw plaque, and Mid-Atlantic STIHL’s Mike Preddy presented him with a STIHL MS 461 chain saw and a $250 check. (STIHL Inc. serves as the sponsor of FRA’s Regional and National Outstanding Logger Awards.)
Sam Trott is a third-generation logger who, along with his wife Jennifer, branched out into sawmilling and has continued to build on the Trott Lumber Company legacy of being an outstanding family operation. Jennifer manages the sawmill while Sam manages the logging operation. Their adult children also participate in the harvesting or sawmill business.
The FRA Outstanding Logger Selection team noted the following qualities of Sam’s business when they visited his operation in the field:
Reputation: Sam Trott aims to please the landowners for whom he cuts timber, and many of them are repeat customers. Eighty percent of his timber harvests are typically within about 25 miles of his home. Sam commented that he tries to follow the advice of his father, who told him, “Make a good name for yourself.”
Merchandising: Sam operates the loader and personally sorts the mostly hardwood timber for the best value. And while many loggers in his area do not cut hardwood pulpwood because there are very few pulpwood markets within 100+ miles, Sam does it to improve the residual stands’ appearance and composition.
Safety: Sam and Jennifer’s family room doubles as a meeting room for sawmill and logging employees. It includes a large, flat-screen monitor on which they show safety videos that they borrow from their insurance company. Their safety program has produced good results – Trott’s logging workers comp experience mod factor is well below 1.0.
Activism: Sam has served on various local government boards in the past, and the Trotts have promoted logging and sawmilling with the public via a Trott Lumber Company booth at their local county fair. They also have a website (www.trottlumbercoinc.com) that includes an excellent video, narrated by their son Jeremy; it shows how they harvest timber and saw it into lumber.
FRA’s Outstanding Logger Award program is designed to raise the visibility of professional logging contractors and to encourage other loggers to adopt the performance of the award winners. The Regional Award winner becomes a nominee for FRA’s National Outstanding Logger recognition.
The Forest Resources Association Inc. is a nonprofit trade association concerned with the safe, efficient, and sustainable harvest of forest products and their transport from woods to mill. FRA represents wood consumers, independent logging contractors, and wood dealers, as well as businesses providing products and services to the forest resource-based industries.