Field Day Activities Already Adding Up for Sept. 8

     Here’s a date you won’t want to miss: The annual Forestry Field Day, set for Saturday, Sept. 8. It will honor Russell Black, the Maine 2018 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year. The Field Day will be held at 123 Black Road in Wilton, and represents a combined effort of Maine Woodland Owners and Maine Tree Farm  for this, the 64th observance.

      Russell and his family manage the Black Family Forest, comprising more than 400 acres of pasture and forestland. Black started working on the family farm when he was 10 years old and took over the forest management in his early 20s. He and his family do most of the forest management on the property themselves, so they are fully engaged with all aspects of the health and productivity of their forest.

     A long-time Maine Woodland Owners member himself, Russell Black also pays close attention to Best Management Practices (BMPs) for maintenance and improvement of water quality. Wildlife habitat is also an important element of the forest management plan. Wildlife practices include mast tree release, constructing brush piles, bird/duck boxes and pollinator habitat improvement.

     The Black Family Farm also boasts a number of related activities, including a very active sugar bush, producing more than 200 gallons of maple syrup per year, raising Black Angus beef to sell locally, as well as beekeeping and honey production.

     The Field Day planning committee has already confirmed some of the activities for the event.

The Foster Technical Center Woodsmen Team will be on hand to show off their ax-throwing and speed-chopping skills. A new attraction will feature Peter Wade of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and Northern Exposure Kennels, showcasing his national award-winning shorthair pointers with training demonstrations. “Operation Game Thief,” in cooperation with the Maine Warden Service, will show the “Wall of Shame,” a mobile display of the damaging effects of poaching on Maine’s fish and wildlife. The Sustainable Forestry Initiatives’ ever-popular “flume table” will show how water quality can be protected from soil erosion by using Best Management Practices. And for those interested in the often-changing timber markets, log scalers from Michigan Veneers will show the best way to buck a log for scale and grade.

As more presenters and vendors are added to the program, they will be added to this list; a complete list will be offered in the September issue of Maine Woodlands, our monthly publication.

Tours of Black Acres Farm throughout the day will offer walking and wagon-riding options. Items to see include an extensive sugar bush operation, including a new, state-of-the-art wood-fired evaporator; wildlife practices such as a mast tree release project, and a recently installed bridge over a tributary stream to Pease Pond. Amanda Burton of Franklin County Natural Resources Conservation Service will be on hand at the bridge to explain NRCS cost-share programs.

Demonstrations of low-impact harvesting equipment are anticipated, including a skid-steer mounted mulching head and stump-drilling rig.  The Old Crow Band from Farmington will be on hand to entertain. Coffee and snacks will be available, and a tasty lunch (burgers, hot dogs, or BBQ) will be provided by Grant Lee’s, of Farmington, for $10 – cash only. We hope to see you there!







Pictures, below, are from the 63rd Maine Woodland Owners/Tree Farm Forestry Field Day - September 2017.


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