ABAC to Host 61st Annual Southern Forestry Conclave March 22nd-24th
Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
College and university students from across America will compete in contests ranging from axe throwing to cross cut sawing at the 61st Annual Southern Forestry Conclave on March 22-24 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
Students from the University of Georgia, North Carolina State University, Auburn University, the University of Florida, Clemson University, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Alabama A&M, the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Louisiana Tech, and Stephen F. Austin University are expected to participate in the Conclave.
Kip Hall, an assistant professor in the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, who serves as the event coordinator, said the Conclave features two types of competition, physical and technical.
The 14 physical events include activities such as axe throwing, bow sawing, knife throwing, cross cut sawing, underhand chopping, log rolling, pole climbing, archery, and others. Also included is birling, a game originally played by two lumberjacks in which each tries to balance longest on a floating log while rotating the log with the feet.
The eight technical events include categories such as compass and pacing, tree estimation, dendrology, photogrammetry, pole classification, timber volume estimation, wildlife, and wood technology. In 2017, the ABAC team at the Conclave at Stephen F. Austin finished third in the technical events and fourth overall in the competition.
ABAC students are not expected to participate in the events this year. Harrison Booker, senior forestry major and president of the ABAC Forestry Club, wants the focus to be on being a great host.
“Students from these schools like LSU and Tennessee have never heard of ABAC,” Booker said. “They don’t know what our program can do. We proved last year that we can compete with them, and now we want to show off the ABAC campus.”
Top events for public viewing are set for the afternoon of March 23 and on March 24. Spectators are welcome at no charge.
Vonda Fenn, program coordinator for the ABAC School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said the Stihl Timbersports Collegiate Series will be going on in Tifton at the same time as the Conclave.
“It’s totally separate from the Conclave, and those events are going to be at the YMCA,” Fenn said. “ESPN usually covers that, and Stihl does a great job of putting it together. The winners move on to another level of competition.”