Rachel believes the Minnesota Logger Education Program has strong roots and the opportunity to truly branch out into becoming THE cutting edge logging and timber professional education organization. Not only does she hope to continue MLEP's strengths and successes, but to grow the program to include additional world class online training and education opportunities that will allow future loggers and foresters entry into the profession with solid business and environmental knowledge. The majority of logging and timber related businesses are considered small business and are therefore at risk in today’s banking climate. To promote a continuously sustainable timber harvesting industry we need owners to have the knowledge, understanding and credentials that will provide financial institutions the security they need to accept the risk associated with small business financing. Additionally, successional planning for our current logging and trucking businesses is vital to the long-term viability of the forest products industry in Minnesota. Not everyone has kids that want to take over the business. Even if they do, our younger generation faces pretty steep hurdles in the financial world as banking moves away from supporting rural small businesses.
Continued focus on safety, forest health and solid business related topics will be a priority for training sessions. Tools and materials to help increase operational efficiencies will be developed and incorporated into training sessions as well. Rachel feels a commitment to supporting excellent communication strategies and relationships throughout the forestry community is vitally important to the continued health and well-being of the industry as a whole in Minnesota. That said, watch for training interest surveys either through email or as links on MLEP’s website. The surveys will be used as a tool to allow individuals anonymous opportunities to weigh in on training programs and planning for the next year. Much like voting, if you don’t participate you shouldn’t complain about the results!
Continuing to grow partnerships with key advocates and related entities will be a key focus moving forward. Rachel would love to hear from anyone who has thoughts about training opportunities. Her goal is to get out in the woods and talk with owners and operators on the ground to better understand what training is needed, what people are interested in learning and how best to ensure that classes are engaging as well as educational. Providing quality training and timely information is an essential part of the MLEP membership package.
With a Bachelor of Science in forest management and nearly 15 years of experience within the forest products industry in the Lake States, Rachel is an enthusiastic advocate of the forest products and timber industry. Born and raised in southern Wisconsin with ties to dairy and potato farming, rural roots run deep. She empathizes with the complexities of small, natural resource-based, weather-driven operations. Family is key in her life, and friends quickly become family. Rachel and her husband, Brett, have three rambunctious and overly intelligent children who keep them both on their toes and studying to answer whatever questions the kids come up with daily.
Minnesota Logger Education Program - 1111 Cloquet Ave; Suite 7 - Cloquet MN 55720
Phone (218) 879-5633 - Fax (218) 879-5261