Valdosta Daily Times

March 10, 2014

Georgia’s future and its forests

The Valdosta Daily Times

-- — Georgia’s economy was built and is still sustained by its natural resources. Today, agriculture remains the number one economic engine in the state, and a large part of that engine still runs off of Georgia’s forestry-related industries.

Although children are not as exposed to jobs in the outdoors as they once were, through programs such as 4H and FFA (Future Farmers of America), they can learn valuable skills that may lead them to a viable career path.

Today, the Langdale Company will once again host the annual Forestry Field Day for area students as it has for more than 30 years.

Dedicated to the land, forest conservation and preservation, and the protection of the state’s water, animal and plant resources, the company understands the importance of reaching students in middle and high school to encourage their interest at a young age.

Students will compete in the competition at Southwind Sporting Clays in several categories, all designed to test their knowledge of basic forestry skills, such as tree identification, land measurement, timber cruising, and more. These students practice and learn at regional competitions such as this one before advancing on to state competitions and beyond.

In today’s technology-driven society, it’s often forgotten that not all skills can be taught on a computer. Technology is widely used in agriculture and forestry, but the hands-on learning and skills taught through these programs remain an invaluable asset. The various hog and steer shows, the forestry days, the ham and egg show and more all help teach today’s youth essential skills that will translate well into just about any career they choose.

Encouraging students to learn about the land and conservation, about animals, about nature and the environment is important and has lifelong applications that are invaluable. Thanks to the sponsors of the field day and other such events, to the schools, and to the parents who allow their children to participate.