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Author Topic: Help A Girl Out  (Read 2680 times)

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Offline Sarah Graham

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Help A Girl Out
« on: October 25, 2019, 10:55:05 AM »
I am doing a research paper for my college level English course. I was hoping to gain actual feedback from actual people in the industry or who are very knowledgeable of the industry. I hope you all will help me!

I am currently a high school student that has a passion for the forestry industry but I don't know if it is the best route for me. I don't know exactly what the forestry industry would entail for future job duties. Can you help?

If you could provide your opinion and beliefs to my questions, I would really appreciate it.

  • Are you part of the Forestry industry. (If so, could you provide brief description?)
  • Are there growing opportunities in the field?
  • What do you do relating to the Forestry industry?
  • Can a female make it in the industry?
  • Where do you believe are the best opportunities for a young person to enter the Forestry industry?

Online Bandmill Bandit

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2019, 12:31:00 PM »
Hi Sarah 

Welcome to the forum.

It is great to see your sincere interest in a Forestry career. 

First off; 
Girls ARE very capable of a forestry career and I have met more than a few very competent and well respected women in the field here in Canada where I live. Two of them are in senior positions of the provincial forestry ministry as executive assistants to the Minister. The one I know well would rather be out in the forests as she was in her early years in the field but as she nears retirement she does appreciate her office in the winter time in our cold winters. 

Her influence and contribution to the Alberta forestry industry and conservation has been very positive. She is better than a lot of guys in her department BUT a big part of that is that she grew up on a farm that was in the boreal forest area of the province with her family also involved in logging so she has an advantage that is hard to find in todays world. Don't let that discourage you. You can do it.

You have not indicated the region that you live in, But I would encourage you to find your local government forestry extension office and pay them a personal visit. I would be surprised if you didn't find a very competent female forester in that office. You may even score yourself a summer job by starting this early in your search. 

Good luck in your quest for a very rewarding career.

Keep us posted.       

        
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Online Southside

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2019, 02:38:51 PM »
Hello Sarah and welcome to the Forum,

To answer questions 1 and 3, yes and I own both timber land and have a small sawmill operation, I used to to a fair bit more logging but these days the mill keeps me busy.  Female or male it makes no difference, my wife worked for the US Forest Service for a few years as a mid-level manager in several national forests covering a couple of million acres and the regional Forest Ranger where we live is female.  

There are many fields within the industry, management (foresters), harvesting, financial planning, sawmills, safety and health, natural resource protection / enforcement, the list is very extensive.  Private, State, and Federal jobs.   

I suspect, the same as any other industry some parts will shrink, and others will grow, some regional areas will see changes that others don't due to population / environmental pressures along with changes in consumer demand.  The rise in on line shopping for instance has increased the demand for cardboard while reducing the need for news print for example.  

Best of luck with your paper and career venture.   
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Offline barbender

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2019, 02:46:49 PM »
Hello Sarah!

I am a forwarder operator for a logging company in northern MN. I've seen a few ladies operating equipment and driving log trucks in our area. However, I see more women in Forester and Mill Management positions around here. There is more money and opportunities for women in the mills and government forestry agencies that require a college degree in my area, from what I've seen. 
Too many irons in the fire

Offline pine

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2019, 03:40:06 PM »
If you could provide your opinion and beliefs to my questions, I would really appreciate it.

  • Are you part of the Forestry industry. (If so, could you provide brief description?)
  • Are there growing opportunities in the field?
  • What do you do relating to the Forestry industry?
  • Can a female make it in the industry?
  • Where do you believe are the best opportunities for a young person to enter the Forestry industry?
  • Are you part of the Forestry industry. (If so, could you provide brief description?
    I have a small forestry service company that does everything but logging.  Site prep, planting, chemical and mechanical vegetation control for young seedlings (first three years or so) , pre commercial thininng, consultation etc
  • Are there growing opportunities in the field?
    Growing maybe  region dependent but the old guard is retiring so even if it is not growing in a given region it is on-going.
    What region are you in.
  • What do you do relating to the Forestry industry?
    See above
  • Can a female make it in the industry?
    Yes. An emphatic yes!  
    The best forester I know is a woman and she is the best there is.
  • Where do you believe are the best opportunities for a young person to enter the Forestry industry?
    I would get a degree in forestry from a good forestry school  and maybe a master's as well.  Check your area there is most likely a good one nearby (relatively speaking)

Offline Sarah Graham

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2019, 05:21:54 PM »
Many of you have asked what region I am in; I am in western Virginia. 

The colleges that I am looking into right now are Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Auburn University, and University of Kentucky.

I realize that my questions 1 and 3 are very similar. Pick and choose.

I appreciate all of you that have responded. You all are giving me a lot of ideas and good information!

Thank you!

Offline btulloh

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2019, 06:05:45 PM »
Not to upset any of the War Eagle or Wildcat people on here - (this is just between you and me, Sarah).  Why would a bright girl from Hokie territory even think about going to Auburn or Kentucky?   :D :D :D

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2019, 06:17:37 PM »
I am a landowner. I wish I'd gone to college and become a forester or a soil scientist. Both of those degrees could be a base for branching out towards opportunities that interest you as you start working at whatever you find available with the degree you hold at the time. Easier to build on education than try to get 4 years worth in a hurry.

With all the regulations being thought up everywhere, I can see soil testing and science as an expanding trade. Also, it fascinates me how roots choose to grow, what trees want from soil and how different soils are distributed around the landscape.
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Offline samandothers

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2019, 06:18:15 PM »
Not to upset any of the War Eagle or Wildcat people on here - (this is just between you and me, Sarah).  Why would a bright girl from Hokie territory even think about going to Auburn or Kentucky?   :D :D :D
Amen!

Offline Sarah Graham

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2019, 08:56:47 PM »
I am probably going to end up going to VT but I am entertaining the idea of other colleges.  :laugh:

My other fascination is Soil sciences. :D

Online WDH

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2019, 08:33:33 AM »
If you would like to work in the Forest Industry for the private sector, then going to one of the Southern Forestry Schools will give you a leg up as the South is the predominant area of the Country where privately owned timber is bought, sold, and utilized in forest products.  There are other parts of the Country where Forestry is important too, but the largest scale is in the US South.  Be sure to look at the University of Georgia as it has one of the very best Forest Business schools in the nation. 

You might want to work in the public sector or for the Government (Forest Service, NRCS, etc.), so your choice of career paths can impact your decision on where to go to study.  I got a BS degree in Timber Management and a Masters Degree in Forest Soils and workied in pirvate industry for 32 years before opening my own hardwood lumber business to sell high grade hardwood to woodworkers. 

Where ever you go, really apply yourself and commit to your studies as Companies will hire high achieving students over those going to school to use their parents money to party.  Most of the times in life, you get what you see, so if you have shown that you are responsible and capable of achieving quality results in school, you have a huge advantage on those that did not seriously apply themselves. 
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Offline scsmith42

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2019, 12:39:21 PM »

  • Can a female make it in the industry?
Sarah, in my experience (corporate world as well as custom milling and drying), there are extremely few areas where a female can't "make it".  I have been fortunate to have known and worked with some outstanding female leaders.  

I don't care who you are, gender, skin color, sexual orientation, etc; we are all fundamentally equal as human beings.  Some individuals may have certain aptitudes that help them along in specific areas, but most things can be learned even if you are not born with an inmate ability in a certain field.  

Most of us on this forum are extremely fortunate to have been born in (or immigrated to) the USA.  Irrespective of what extremists and manipulators want you to believe, we are still the best country in the world if you value individual freedom, liberty and opportunity.

One thing that I have discovered in life is that empowerment starts from within.  Nobody has to give it to you - it's your choice to go through life by not letting others hold you back.  Yes, there can be caustic environments that discourage empowerment; in those instances it may be best to proactively seek a different environment - not necessarily a different field.

Don't fall into the trap of victimhood; it is a self fulfilling philosophy.

Sarah, my advice to you is to go for whatever you want.  You may discover in a few years that what you wanted at 17 may not be what you want at 30.  There in nothing wrong with that.  My wife was in her early 30's before she decided to pursue her dream of being a Veterinarian.  Today, almost 25 years later she would emphatically tell you that making a career change was the right decision for her, even if it required several additional years of education.

As you go through life you will have a myriad of experiences that help you grow and discover more who you are and what you like.  So embrace change if you're comfortable that it's the right change at the right time.

Best of success to you.

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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2019, 02:35:29 PM »
If you could provide your opinion and beliefs to my questions, I would really appreciate it.

  • Are you part of the Forestry industry. (If so, could you provide brief description?) I graduated and went into the USMC and took the knowledge and experience from those two and worked all over the world in Logistics and Construction Management field. When I retired from that I bought a WoodMizer band mill and now I do portable sawmilling for people in the southern WV area.
  • Are there growing opportunities in the field? I would say yes both in the private sector and with various government agencies.
  • What do you do relating to the Forestry industry? See above.
  • Can a female make it in the industry? A woman can make it in any career she chooses. I had women work for me in the USMC and twice I had a senior enlisted woman as my number 2 and they were first rate. I remember having a warehouse operation with women and men doing the same jobs. The hardheaded male Marine would bear hug a 200 lb tent canvass and carry it to the location where it needed to be stored. The 110 lb WM corporal would grab a pallet jack or get on the forklift and do the same thing but it was done just as well or better so just work smarter not harder.
  • Where do you believe are the best opportunities for a young person to enter the Forestry industry? My first paying jobs were making plywood and working summer jobs in a paper mill. The big paper/pulp and timber companies have to hire forestry experts to buy and manage the timber. On my referral list when people call me to see if I buy timber is a lady who buys timber and timberland for several big sawmills in the area.
  I went to Auburn and met my wife of 42+ years there. I was in the Wildlife Biology program and had a few classes in the Forestry Department and liked them and the professors real well. Its a great school and I've got my fingers crossed for our LSU game in an hour or so. After I left the USMC I worked all over the world and liked to learn as much as I could about the area including forestry techniques and logging. We visited a big French run sawmill in the Central African Republic while vacationing there with the pygmies, gorillas and forest elephants.
Not to upset any of the War Eagle or Wildcat people on here - (this is just between you and me, Sarah).  Why would a bright girl from Hokie territory even think about going to Auburn or Kentucky?   :D :D :D
Amen!
Sarah,

  Don't listen to these hairy-legged hardtails. They've sucked up too much sawdust over the years and it curdled their brains. :D

   If you have a preference where you want to work and live you might select the school closer to that area. You will get a good education from any of the schools you listed but the curriculum at each may be tailored slightly more to regional differences. That school may have better referral connections for jobs once you graduate. At AU you may get more emphasis on pine monoculture and the pulp and framing timber industry which is more common down there while VT may stress more about hardwood issues as we have up here. Being a VA resident the cost to go to VT may be a lot less than paying out of state fees at AU or UK. It may be easier to get into an internship, which will likely be required, in your area from VT.

   If you are ever over near Hinton WV give us a shout and come by and look at my mill and operation and I will be glad to show you our shoestring operation and answer any questions we can. There are very few things I don't some kind of opinion about.

Sam and btullah,
  First - may the fleas from a thousand camels infest your tent! smiley_furious And why would a smart girl from Hokie country want to go to AU? To better herself is the obvious answer. smiley_gorgeous

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Offline btulloh

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2019, 03:06:15 PM »
 :D :D :D :D

Good response. And good actual info for Sarah. The fact that she found this forum bodes well for her future. 

All three schools are good schools and you pointed out some good reasons for choosing one over another .  

On a side note, Iím looking forward to the LSU/Auburn game today. I donít have a rooting interest, just good football. Sadly, the Hokies are in the midst of an off year. Hopefully things will get back to normal next year. 
HM126

Offline samandothers

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2019, 05:44:47 PM »

  If you have a preference where you want to work and live you might select the school closer to that area. You will get a good education from any of the schools you listed but the curriculum at each may be tailored slightly more to regional differences. That school may have better referral connections for jobs once you graduate. At AU you may get more emphasis on pine monoculture and the pulp and framing timber industry which is more common down there while VT may stress more about hardwood issues as we have up here. Being a VA resident the cost to go to VT may be a lot less than paying out of state fees at AU or UK. It may be easier to get into an internship, which will likely be required, in your area from VT.


I will watch where I pitch my tent!
 ;D

Great point about looking to the area where you'd like to work for a school selection.  I did go to Va Tech in a field other than Forestry.  I did find a job in an area where other Universities were local/ favored.  So local Universities maybe favored but businesses do look outside their locals.

WDH also makes some great point about school in the south given the resources of the region.

As scsmith42 points out, apply yourself and do well and you will get good choices.

Offline Don P

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2019, 06:52:40 PM »
One other related path, we are coming up on a shortage of engineers specializing in wood construction. VT would be a good place to get that degree.
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Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2019, 08:32:29 PM »
@Sarah Graham ,

   We had a local street festival this weekend and the US Forestry people had a booth set up. I talked with the forester there. He was a WVU grad and we compared notes with Glenville State where my son went and got his BS also with an AS in Forestry. Turns out this guy was on the Glenville State board. I asked on your behalf about women in forestry and he assured me he has a significant number of women co-workers and they do well and are very well respected members of the team. He said they have gone out west on firefighting and hot shot details just like the men and gender was not holding them back or causing negative opinions by the male counterparts. By all means follow your dream. (I keep dreaming they will review the results of the LSU/AU game yesterday and find they added the scores wrong and we actually won after all. :() Good luck, keep us informed and feel free to ask any more questions you have.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Sarah Graham

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2019, 09:20:13 PM »
@WV Sawmiller 

Thank you for thinking about my questions and asking for me. This might be one of my best English papers yet thanks to all of you all!

I really enjoy being apart of this forum and I will definitely keep you all informed!

Thank you! ;D

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2019, 09:39:28 AM »
@Sarah Graham ,

   Good luck and we are all glad to help. By the way - it would likely be time well spent to see if you can visit your local State Forestry Office and/or USDA office and talk to them about opportunities and needs in the Forestry field and see what they can advise and inform you about. I did a sawmill demo for the local USDA offices in February and again in September and attended one of their meetings in preparation and found they had regular meetings on how to inform residents and improve the use of available forestry products. Everything from growing mushrooms, planting black locust for fence posts, harvesting timber in nearly inaccessible locations, etc. were discussed. These people go out and meet with the local landowners and advise and help train them on how they can maximize the use and profits from their land and forestry products. I am sure they would love to discuss current happenings in the forestry area and offer help and suggestions.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline OH Boy

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Re: Help A Girl Out
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2019, 08:18:38 PM »

  • Are you part of the Forestry industry. (If so, could you provide brief description?) -Just wanted to reply to your query and respond from a different end of the forestry industry. I've been involved in utility forestry for more than 20 years now, kind of fell into it answering an ad in the local paper and have been in it now since 1999. as a manager and doing interviews I always describe it as a "hidden" sector of the forestry industry that isn't often thought of but is definitely an industry sector of its own. Tends to be steady work if you have a safety mindset and do a good job. we look for people with a forestry degree in doing planning and project management, and though we don't use all of the skill sets taught by the forestry schools, many of the skills do apply. we focus on project management and customer relations to manage vegetation in different geographic settings. Definitely something to look in to as we are in contact with the schools you've mentioned and have many of their alumni employed.
  • Are there growing opportunities in the field? - definitely, we are always looking for new employees, particularly if willing to travel or relocate. A lot of work can be local, but being willing to do project work really expands opportunities for growth. We also are doing internships as we can to introduce prospective graduates to the industry.
  • What do you do relating to the Forestry industry? - Tree ID, Vegetation management using various methods, customer relations, project management.
  • Can a female make it in the industry? - absolutely, we have many on board.
  • Where do you believe are the best opportunities for a young person to enter the Forestry industry? - I haven't really ever been involved in traditional forestry field, so to be fair can't comment. I can say that the utility side can be a long term prospect many people don't really think of.


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