Ohio Forestry Association holds annual meeting and selects new leadership

The Ohio Forestry Association (OFA) and Ohio Tree Farm Committee (OTFC) held their joint annual meeting and awards luncheon on March 7, 2024, at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown. Loggers, manufacturers, and tree farmers from across the state gathered to hear important industry updates and present outstanding service awards.

One of the highlights of the meeting was the presentation of industry awards. OFA’s highest honor is reserved for the Outstanding Logger of the Year, and Tyke Lowery of Lowery Logging and Firewood (Circleville) was named for 2023. Lowery Logging was recognized for their technical expertise as a mechanized and hand felling operation, commitment to safety, protection of water quality and the surrounding environment, service to the Southeast Ohio Loggers Chapter, and efforts to educate the public through social media and working with their local high school.

Other awards included:

Outstanding Individual in Government Service Award – Director Mary Mertz (Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Columbus)

Outstanding Individual in Industry Award – Eric Doll (Doll Lumber Co., Southington)

Outstanding Individual in Private Service Award – Jake Peer (Peer Family Forestry Consulting, LLC., Mansfield)

Outstanding Logging Activist Award – Brock Couture [posthumous] (Couture Forestry Services, Newton Falls)

Walt Lange Conservation Education Award – Emilee Hardesty (Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, Columbus)

Director’s Awards for Outstanding Contributions to OFA Programs – Gayla Fleming (OFA Event Manager and Member Services, Zanesville)

Lashbrook/Woyar Award for Outstanding Contributions to the OFA Foundation – Brad Perkins (OFA Foundation Board Member, Nashport)

Eric Doll of Kent, Ohio, began his term as board president at the conclusion of the meeting. Doll is involved in the Ohio forest products industry as a second-generation manufacturer. He is the Sales Manager for Doll Lumber Co., Inc. in Southington, Ohio where he has worked full-time since 2008 and part-time while he attended Ohio University. He is a member of the Northeast Ohio Loggers Chapter, where he previously served as Chair and Vice-Chair.

The Ohio Tree Farm Committee also held its annual meeting and awarded Rob and Pat Davis, (Reclaimed Tree Farm LLC, Harrison County) the 2024 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year. Luke Walters (New Philadelphia) received the 2024 Ohio Tree Farm Inspector of the Year award.

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