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Alabama A&M Forestry Club cuts down competition at Southern Forestry Conclave

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Alabama A&M brought home the hardware after chopping down the competition in the 65th annual Southern Forestry Conclave.

Over three days in Gainesville, Fla., the Bulldogs joined students from 14 forestry schools across the South in competing in 23 forestry-related events featuring traditional timber sports and academic forestry skills.

Saw Competition

Events included axe and knife throwing, sawing, log chopping, pole felling, and technical events such as wood technology, timber estimation, and wildlife identification.

“We are competing and holding our own in events against universities five times our size,” said Dr. Troy Bowman, assistant professor of Forest Economics and Policy, AAMU Forestry, Ecology, and Wildlife Program. “I think our students did well and showed a lot of spirit.”

Student Axe Throwing

Competing for the AAMU Forestry Club were:

  • Christopher Burns, junior from Huntsville
  • Bradley Massey, junior from Madison
  • Kelsey Hardyman, junior from Moulton
  • Jahi Bradford, freshman from Tuskegee
  • Timari Borum, freshman from Tuskegee
  • Christian Bolden, freshman from Shorter

Students with Awards

Burns won the Timber Estimation competition, was second with Kelsey Hardyman in the Jack & Jill Crosscut, and took fifth in the Axe Throw. Bolden and Bradford were sixth in Men’s Crosscut and Massey took sixth place in Pole Felling.

Student Pole Felling

AAMU has been an official member of conclave sponsor Association of Southern Forestry Clubs since 2004.

“I have attended conclave the last two years and I have never been around so many genuinely respectful people in my life,” said Hardyman. “The purpose of conclave is to compete, however, there has always been immense support for every competitor by every school. I have never witnessed any discrimination, malice, or ill will at any of the competitions and that gives me great hope for the future of forestry.”

Student Competes in Log Rolling Competition

Alabama A&M also co-won the Sportsmanship Award, sharing it with Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.

“The conclave is just a fun experience,” said Bolden. “I learned so much and the people were very nice. I am excited to prepare for the next one because AAMU is hosting.”

Students Compete in Log Rolling

Next March, teams will head to The Hill for the 66th annual Southern Forestry Conclave. The AAMU Forestry Club is open to all students.

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