n The event was held at MSU's John W. Starr Memorial Forest.

By ROBBIE WARD

Daily Journal Starkville Bureau

STARKVILLE - Jim Brown of Milledgeville, Ga., usually spends his weekdays operating the Prentice Loader, but Friday he used it to arrange blocks in about three minutes.

Brown and his fellow workers joined people throughout the nation at the Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show, located at Mississippi State University's John W. Starr Memorial Forest, to check out the latest equipment and find out what new machines can make their jobs more efficient. The biannual Mid-South Forestry Equipment Show, now in its 23rd year, is the oldest and largest live demonstration show in the nation.

Throughout Friday and today equipment representatives demonstrated their latest machines while loggers, foresters and landowners mingled among the heat and took continuing-education classes.

Many people concentrated at the northeast part of the forest, watching demonstrations of bulldozers, skidders, log loaders and other logging machines. One of the largest crowds stared at the Prentice Loader display, which conducted its hydraulic knuckleboom loader championship tournament. The competition involved about 100 people operating the nearly $200,000 piece of equipment to arrange eight 150-pound wood blocks on red squares on a checkerboard design.

Looking at new forestry equipment nearly always fascinates Brown.

"I just love coming to look at everything," he said. "It's in my blood."

Refresher courses

Ira Singleton took a break from his logging business to get refresher courses on pipeline and logging safety, along with preservation and growth of loggers' equity. Singleton, who owns a logging company in Florence, said he's required to take continuing-education courses each year.

"It'll help me log better," he said, taking a break to eat a hamburger.

Many loggers attending the show come at a time when they're paying extra attention to new machines that can make their work more cost-effective; the sharp increase in diesel prices have hit many loggers in the pocketbook.

"You really have to manage things better than ever before," Singleton said.

Contact Robbie Ward at 323-9831 or robbie.ward@djournal.com.

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