Thursday, November 20, 2008

Council Tours Ronnie's Lumber Mill in Double Springs

Ronnie's Lumber Mill is a Double Springs sawmill that mainly cuts cross ties. Ronnie Frost is the owner of the mill and he has owned this business for 21 years. The mill employs 19 workers. He's been in the lumber business for 32 years.

The mill buys hardwood logs that are over 11" in diameter. They also cut some of the wood from the logs into wood to be used in the pallet industry, and into trailer flooring. Cross ties make up the bulk of his business and the demand for cross ties is increasing. Fuel prices have increased the profits of railroads, and the industry is in a period of growth. Ronnie mentioned a number of interesting facts about cross ties:
  • Cross ties last about 5-6 years.
  • Cross ties are discarded not because they rot, but because the spike comes loose.
  • Concrete cross ties are not likely to replace the demand for hardwood cross ties.
  • Cross ties must be air dried for 9 months before they can be installed.
The Winston County Natural Resources Council enjoyed the tour and thanks Ronnie Frost for hosting it. More photos from the tour of Ronnie's Lumber Mill are located at this site.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Alabama Water Watch Conducts Training in Addison for Winston County Livestock Producers

Alabama Water Watch recently conducted training for Winston and Cullman County livestock producers. The training focused on bacterial monitoring of water, which can reveal contamination of water in streams, lakes, wells, and ponds. Livestock producers were trained on the specifics of taking a sample of water and culturing the bacteria in the water. This simple test can expose the presence of E. coli in water even when the contamination is not obvious to the eye. E. coli contamination could be from failing septic systems, improper management of livestock, municipal waste water treatment systems, or a number of other sources. The livestock producers attending the class are now certified to take Alabama Water Watch samples and contribute to the statewide database. Additional photos of the training are available by clicking here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tour of Ronnie's Lumber Mill

Ronnie's Lumber Mill is a Double Springs sawmill specializing in furnishing wood to the cross tie industry. The Winston County Natural Resources Council will tour the mill on Thursday, November 20th at 10:00 a.m. Ronnie Frost, the owner of the sawmill, will explain the operation of the sawmill and the economic factors that affect his operation. Participants should be prepared to wear safety glasses and earplugs as we tour this working sawmill.

November Council Meeting

The Winston County Natural Resources Council will meet at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 20th at the U. S. Forest Service Office in Double Springs.

The main topic of discussion will be plans for the 2009 Forest Landowner Field Day. This program is tentatively being planned for this spring at Bill and Jeanie Snoddy's TREASURE Forest near Double Springs.

After the meeting, we will tour Ronnie's Lumber Mill at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

4-H Shooting Sports Leaders Conduct Hunter Safety Training

Certified 4-H Shooting Sports Volunteer Leaders Tim Robinson and Kenny Robinson recently conducted a Hunter Safety Training for the Addison High School Agri-Science Classes. Almost 50 seventh grade students learned about safe firearms handling in the home and in the field. In addition, students fired a shotgun at clay targets on the 4-H Shooting Sports Skeet and Trap Range. Mr. Frank Graham, Agri-Science Instructor at Addison High School, said that he hopes to bring students each year for training at the range. Jay Conway, 4-H Regional Extension Agent, conducted a portion of the training and explained the 4-H Shooting Sports program to the students.