Tom Hayes, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, opened the Teagasc ‘Talking Timber’ event held in the Mullingar Park Hotel, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath today.
‘Talking Timber’ is an annual forestry information and marketing initiative organised by Teagasc in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and with the co-operation of the Irish timber industry. The event provides forest owners, especially those owners whose plantations are at or approaching thinning age, with the opportunity to find out more about the timber selling process and to meet with timber buyers, harvesting contractors and foresters. The event in Mullingar was the second of this year’s events as an event had been held in Kildalton Agricultural College, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, on 26th August 2014.
Opening the event in Mullingar, Minister Hayes commented “These events have proven very popular and have been very successful in recent years and I am delighted to see such a good turn out today. I attended one of these events last year – in Templeglantine, Co. Limerick – and I found it to be very informative and useful” and added that the attendance “demonstrates the interest that exists among forest owners in managing their forestry plantations and in selling their timber. These events seek to address the need for information on the marketing process and to give forest owners an opportunity to make contact with, and ask questions directly to, potential purchasers of their timber”.
The format of the event included an outdoor demonstration organised by the Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association, where the attendance had the opportunity to view the quality and specification of timber required by Irish sawmills, followed by a number of short indoor presentations by Teagasc, the Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and speakers from the forest industry. The overall purpose of the event is to give forest owners an overview on thinning, harvesting and marketing of timber.
Minister Hayes welcomed the support shown by the timber industry, noting that participation by the representative organisations, timber buyers and processors, harvesting contractors and foresters, greatly increased the value and appeal of Talking Timber. He advised the attendance that “On a national level, these events are seeking to inform, encourage and facilitate you to harvest and market your timber. This should enable you to make a return on the investment made by you, and by the State, in the development of your forest. If properly managed, forestry can provide an additional income source through thinning, which in turn will help to maximise timber production and therefore income for a forest owner at final felling stage. There is the wider picture as well. In the context of our forestry sector, it is vital that privately-owned timber is made available to the timber industry.” He concluded by thanking Teagasc for organising and hosting the events.