Plans are well underway for the KWOA/F annual meeting March 26-27 at Pennyrile Forest State Park, nine miles from Dawson Springs. The meeting will begin with outdoor site visits, weather permitting, in the state forest on Tuesday (10A-4P). Attendees should arrive dressed accordingly. Alternatively, power point presentations will presented in the KDF office/classroom building. Registration for the entire meeting (9-10A) and lunch will be in the KDF facility.
Morning topics include management of Pennyrile State Forest, state of its watersheds, biology and field chemistry, habitat and riparian issues, and streams and timber harvesting.
Tuesday evening’s events include a social hour, silent auction, banquet and speakers.
Wednesday morning’s agenda addresses the state Watershed Watch program, the American Chestnut Foundation, cooperators’ reports and the annual business meeting.
Meeting registration includes Tuesday lunch and the Wednesday evening banquet. Lodging consists of lakeside rooms and cottages.
The room rate at the Resort Park will be $89.95 per night.
Rex Mann, is a 40 year veteran of the US Forest service and a smoke jumper many of those years and a member of the American Chestnut Foundation. He talks about the American Chestnut, restoration and more.
The 2018 KWOA annual meeting challenged and delighted members in many ways with flavors, weather and rural roads. The adventure started on Tuesday morning, March 20th in Frankfort with a guided tour of Buffalo Trace Distillery.
Participants gained an understanding of the complexities of the bourbon making process through history, barrel house inspections and, yes, sampling several types of bourbon mid-morning at the tourism center’s bar.
“Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak.” —Quote by Johnny Carson in the Single Oak Project exhibit
In the same area is the Single Oak Project exhibit, a recently completed experiment to test the effects of barrels made from 96 oak trees selected from as many different locations as well as ages. The resulting bourbons, all aged for eight years, are on display as is a list of sites from which the oak trees were harvested.
From the distillery the road warriors traveled to Elk Creek Vineyards in Owen County.
After a pizza buffet lunch and some post-St. Patrick’s Day iridescent green wine, the group went below ground to see another type of barrel used to age wines and learn about the cultivation and processing of grapes.
With snow definitely in the forecast, the tour headed to General Butler State Park to continue the agenda with the evening award banquet.
Members met this year’s forestry student scholarship recipient, Abigail Adams (see spring newsletter issue for full article about Abby).
The association’s Outstanding Service Forester award was presented to Floyd Willis, KDF northeast region.
Dr. Greg Kuhns, tree farmer in Bullitt County, was recognized for over 20 years of service to KWOA as a board member, vice president, annual meeting chair and representation at national and regional American Tree Farm meetings.
A substantial snowfall graced the park during the night. Some speakers were unable to travel to the park for Wednesday’s educational program and cooperators reports. But quick technology fixes on both ends enable presentations by Skype from several of those scheduled. Members learned about limited supplies of white oak timber to meet growing demands, timber exports and invasive species and insects affecting woodland owners’ properties.
After hearing updates from the forestry division, university, conservation committee and forest industries association, members elected officers and board for the coming year. KWOA welcomes new board members Scott Taylor (central zone) and James Vincent (western zone). By the time the meeting adjourned the snow had melted and members were able to return home safely.
KWOA/F thanks the many individuals who planned and managed the annual meeting. Special appreciation goes to Doug McLaren who took the lead on organizing the site visits and program. Preparations are already underway for the 2019 meeting. We hope you will plan to attend.
The slate of officers and board members for 2018 is a mix of new and familiar faces.
Doug McLaren, previous vice president, has stepped up to the office of president. Portia Brown has moved from secretary to the vice president position. Jack Rentz, a past president, is now secretary. Some directors have renewed terms representing different zones than their previous positions. (See complete roster on back page.)
The board welcomes Scott Taylor, Danville, to the central zone slot and James Vincent, Henderson, to represent the western zone. KWOA thanks Frank Hicks, out-going president, for his commitment and service to the association.
Scott Taylor owns woodlands adjacent to his father and KWOF board member, Cliff Taylor. The family farms are in Boyle and Casey Counties. He recently retired from a long career with the University of Florida Agriculture Department where he worked in dairy and crop production, focusing on commercial vegetable production for the last 25 years. He developed the Pesticide Residue Testing Model that is used across the USA.
As a Kentucky Master Woodland Steward and Master Logger, Scott believes KWOA has a unique opportunity to provide goods and services to society and that we need to structure our response to these opportunities in ways that are both economically and environmentally sustainable.
Jim Vincent is recently retired from a 50+ career in the plastics industry. He grew up in Robards and owns, with wife Holly, properties that include 250 acres of woodlands in Webster County and about 80 acres of wooded wetland habitat in Henderson County. Vincent is a long-time member of The American Chestnut Foundation and the Henderson Audubon Society.
Jim and wife Holly
Jim says joining the KWOA board is especially exciting and relevant to that which he enjoys. He further comments, “I am very interested in good woodland stewardship and the resulting environmental, economic and recreational benefits. Being able to meet and interact with such knowledgeable KWOA members provides a great opportunity to learn more about my favorite subject.”
The Single Oak Project displays the culmination of an eight year study of, among other factors, the effect of different types of oak wood on the final bourbon product.
Started in 1999 the experiment individually selected 96 American oak trees that differed according to grain size (tight, average or coarse based on growth rings per inch) and growing location. A single barrel was constructed from the top and bottom each tree with various stave seasonings and charrings. These single oak barrels were then filled with different recipe whiskeys, at various entry proofs and aged in a variety of different warehouse styles. All of the single Oak Project bourbons were aged for eight years.
“Happiness is having a rare steak, a bottle of whisky, and a dog to eat the rare steak.” —Johnny Carson
This experiment allows whiskey connoisseurs to directly compare the impact of seven different critical variables across 192 bottles for a total of 1,396 taste combinations. The Single Oak Project is undoubtedly the most extensive bourbon experiment ever undertaken.
And the winner is …
The winning bourbon from Barrel #80 was a rye recipe bourbon, entered into a barrel made from oak harvested from the bottom half of the tree with staves seasoned for 12 months. The grain size of the wood was considered average and the barrel received a number four char inside. The whiskey entered the barrel at 125 proof and was aged in a concrete floor warehouse.
Josh Frazier, service forester for northeastern Kentucky, received KWOA’s Outstanding Service Forester Award at this year’s annual meeting.
Frazier has been employed by the Kentucky Division of Forestry for more than eleven years. He became a Service Forester for northeastern Kentucky in 2008.
Josh’s love of the land is demonstrated by his dedication to good forestry, his enthusiasm for his job and his willingness to work with landowners and encourage them to be involved in managing their forests.
The annual meeting was not all speakers and business. Several members found time between rain storms to hike up to The Bridge. Portia and Jerry Brown, Jerry Adams and Jerry Schneider completed the trek at dawn the first day of the meeting to watch the sun come up under the bridge before the day’s indoor programs began.
As one astute member later observed, the three men gave a whole new meaning to gerrymandering. The three Jerry’s paused from their meandering long enough for this photo op.
They were not alone in their quest. Karen and Steve Marshall hit the near vertical trail the evening before and just ahead of a furious rain storm.
“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you” is the ultimate conversation stopper, says Steve Isaacs, UK extension coordinator for farm management, in the complex and often unpleasant and unproductive dialogue between family generations regarding what will happen to the family farm.
Family farm succession is about more than legal and tax implications according to Dr. Isaacs who is also director for the UK Tax Education Program. It is about the transfer of assets, management, leadership and, yes, debt in a cyclical process.
Isaacs stressed that the first priority in this cycle is assuring an adequate retirement income for the parents. The estate tax is a paper tiger for most people; “death taxes don’t destroy family farms… families do.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are only two categories of workers that are older than farmers – school crossing guards and Walmart greeters.
Isaacs recommended engaging a transition team familiar with farmland issues that could include an attorney, accountant, financial planner, lender, extension educator and/or business consultant. This team’s function is to identify and generate ideas, technical information, evaluation and suggestions.
Isaacs recommended conducting the transition discussion at a neutral location, not at the family kitchen table. He advised treating siblings fairly, not necessarily equally and include spouses in the discussion.
A facilitator and recorder will summarize and document the items on which the family has agreed.
With some guidance and a transition plan, Isaacs says the conversation by the entire family can become “Here’s how we’re going to take care of things.”
Steve will be conducting a full day session on this subject in the near future. Check our events page for that announcement.