Yesterday was the start of our 2013 Forestry Field Camp. Dr. Greene, Dr. Dahlen, two of Warnell’s Student Services staff, four graduate students, and 14 undergraduates set out for Alabama bright and early. Their first stop was a visit to Kronospan – the world’s leading manufacturer of wood-based panels. Kronospan operates 30+ facilities in 27 countries, but their Alabama facility is currently the only plant on US soil. Students saw firsthand the process of transforming wood chips into fiber board.
Today, the group of 23 headed to Aliceville, AL to visit The Westervelt Company’s Lumber and Renewable Energy facilities. While not always known as The Westervelt Company, the founding family as been in the forestry business since 1884. Westervelt Lumber’s sawmill is the largest Southern yellow pine production facility in North America, boasting some of the industries most sophisticated and high-tech machinery. One of the computerized systems uses laser senors to analyse the dimensions of a log to determine the best way to cut the log in an effort to maximize efficiency and profit.
After an hour drive down the road, the Warnell Forestry Field Camp visited Westervelt Renewable Energy’s brand new fuel pellet production facility. Located on the Tenn-Tom Waterway, the new facility will primary use barges to transport wood pellets to buyers for use as biofuel. With only two weeks in operation, UGA had the privilege of being the first university visitors to see the facility in action. More Forestry Field Camp coming soon!