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LSU AgCenter: State's forestry industry is healthy and growing

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German Pellets
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More than 150 timber landowners are participating in Tuesday’s Central Louisiana Forestry Forum. LSU AgCenter forestry extension agent Robbie Hutchins organized the meeting. He says the state’s timber industry has fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, due in large part to an emerging market for woody biomass.

“Forestry has bounced back and is now stronger than ever. That’s a great plus for Louisiana. But the big thing for us as forest landowners is the opportunity for alternate markets, nontraditional markets to market our resource,” Hutchins said.

Speakers from the German Pellets plant in Urania and Cool Planet in Alexandria topped the agenda to discuss woody biomass, according to Hutchins.

“These pellets are primarily used to generate electricity in either Great Britain or the European Union, which has mandated that at least 50 percent of the power generation there in the EU has to come from renewable sources,” Hutchins said.

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain is set to give a forecast on the forestry economy later today. The annual event runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the LSU AgCenter Evacuation Shelter adjacent to the LSU at Alexandria campus.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' experience to Red River Radio having started out as a radio news reporter and moving into television journalism as a newsmagazine producer / host, talk-show moderator, programming director and managing producer and news director / anchor for commercial, public broadcasting and educational television. He has more recently worked in advertising, marketing and public relations as a writer, video producer and media consultant. In pursuit of higher learning, Chuck studied Mass Communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.