When thinking of a career in forestry, most people probably wouldn’t put becoming a logger at the top of their list. Long hours combined with the heat of the South can make it a tough job.
But, what most people may not realize is how important loggers are to the health and sustainability of our southern forests.
Logging helps boost state economies and provides jobs to residents. Mississippi has one of the largest timber economies in the United States, and forestry contributes nearly $13 million to Mississippi’s economy annually. Forestry also accounts for about 70,000 jobs in the state.
With more than 40 years of farming and logging experience, Ken Martin, president and CEO of Cato, Mississippi-based logging company, Mar-Cal, Inc., understands the important role forestry plays in Mississippi.
“The work we do enhances the economy of Mississippi, of the forest industry,” Martin said. “The forest industry as a whole is a large part of our state’s jobs and revenue.”
Martin has built his company from the ground up and has rooted his family legacy in the forest industry.
“We started Mar-Cal from scratch. We’re pretty much a team. My wife does all the paperwork. My sons go to the woods bright and early every day – they’re actually the boots on the ground, cutting and hauling timber.”
The benefits of forests vary widely: from improving health to improving community aesthetics. Loggers help ensure that our forests remain healthy and sustainable for future generations.
Martin adds: “The forest to me is many things. There’s no prettier place to be than out in the woods. The forest to me also is a source of income and a source of opportunity.”