Loud sounds, lots of climbing and high tech ways to cut up a pine tree. This ag tour was designed to remind participants timber is an ag commodity in Nacogdoches County. Tours of Cal Tex and Norbord showed timber contributes to the ag income, just in a different way than poultry and livestock. Nacogdoches County Judge Joe English said, " Most definitely and both plants of what I've seen today is they're utilizing all the products."
Tour guides at Norbord joked, "It comes in round and goes out flat." So how is a tree turned into oriented strand board? Nacogdoches County Extension Agent Chad Gulley knows there's no better way to answer that than take a person inside and let them see for themselves. Gulley said, " So people can see what's going on on a first hand basis versus just seeing it driving down the highway or talking about in the coffee shops, but kinda see it on the first had basis." And it's an opportunity to meet the people behind the product, like Karen Christopher in quality control. Explaining her job she said, " We break it. We pull it apart. We glue it. We put it under water." Christopher wants her visitors to know how important her employer is to the local economy. " We're a very viable employee here to ensure that even being in this that we're environmentally safe and that we are putting out a very good product."
All agriculture will receive recognition on Monday at the annual ag banquet. A selected few will receive special honors, but the night is intended to make all agriculturists feel special. Chamber director Bruce Partain explained it's to, "Celebrate the fact we're the number 8 ag producing county in Texas and so it says how important it is to our economy directly." Community awareness is the key to agri growth.
Farm Family of the Year: Pat and A.T. Mast Jr. Family
Agriculture Pioneer Award: Bob Barton.
Agri-business of the Year: Animal Science Products
Agriculture Educator of the Year: Larry Poe