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Editorial: Celebrating forestry’s young leaders

Oct. 23, 2017 - CFI’s Top 10 Under 40 is one of my favourite projects of the year. This is a chance for us to tell the stories of hard working up and comers in the industry, as nominated by you!

October 23, 2017  By  Maria Church

It’s our hope that sharing these stories will encourage other young people to enter the forest sector, bringing with them innovative ideas and solutions to challenges faced industry-wide.

We received a record number of nominations for this contest, all of whom deserve to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to their jobs, be they in a sawmill, in the bush or in the office. I want to encourage those whose nominees were not chosen to consider resubmitting next year. I cannot emphasize enough how many outstanding individuals were nominated from across the country, spanning many occupations in the forest sector.

As hard as it was to narrow the field down to 10 individuals, the swell of nominees is a good sign for an industry that is facing mass retirement of its aging workforce. This may indicate that there is a growing pool of talent ready to lead the industry into the future. We salute their successes so far. Read our @CFImag.

There could be many reasons behind a bump in interest in the forest sector. Certainly the federal government is paying attention to the growing skilled trade shortage in Canada, and forestry as a $32-billion export industry carries some weight when it comes to claiming its share of the funding pie.


The Forest Products Association of Canada’s Greenest Workforce initiative is no doubt drawing the attention of the social media generation. The Alberta Forest Products Association’s Work Wild campaign is another great example. Individual forest companies, too, are drawing eyes if not application forms over Twitter and Facebook.

Social media also allows smaller logging companies to show off their love for their jobs. We launched a CFI Instagram account (@CFImag) not long ago and I’ve been enjoying the photos and videos of shiny new equipment and beautiful forestry vistas from B.C. to Nova Scotia.

Young people are likely attracted to the impressive new equipment in our forests and mills. I read an article on The Guardian about attracting youth to forestry in which writer Jason Wilson described Ponsse’s new forwarder as something designed by Michael Bay. For the generation that hit their teens when Transformers hit theatres, that’s a pretty big draw.

Not only is the equipment exciting, it’s also made to the highest safety standards, which means loggers are operating in the safest conditions possible. For mom and dad, the most important career councillors, that’s an important fact to share.

Whatever the reason, it should be encouraging for everyone in the forest sector to see bright young minds joining their ranks. Raise a glass with us to this year’s Top 10 Under 40!  

Gear heads unite
Speaking of new equipment, I also want to introduce a new section to our magazine called Gear Zone. Each issue we are going to be running a column or short article on best practices for equipment maintenance, troubleshooting and optimization, either in the bush or in the sawmill.

This new section is the result of some on-the-ground research I’ve been doing into CFI’s audience (i.e. asking every logger and sawmiller I meet how we can better serve our readers). It’s our hope that this section will provide you with cutting edge information to keep your machines running their best. Read the inaugural article here.

If you have any ideas for gear-related subjects you’d like to know more about, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at 226-931-1396 or mchurch@annexweb.com.

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