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8 February 2013 T IMBER L INE www.timberlinemag.com Foster Bros. Wood Products Supplies Biofuel to University of Missouri-Columbia Power Plant By Diane M. Calabrese Contributing Author AUXVASSE, Missouri – Exploiting a new niche often demands new tools. For Foster Bros. Wood Products, Inc. (FBWP), win- ning a six-year contract to supply wood fi- ber to the new, eco-friendly power plant at the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC) meant adding a harvester, a for- warder and a whole tree chipper. Steve Foster, president of Missouri Fi- ber Corp. (MFC), took the lead in doing the research for the mechanical felling equip- ment. He and his brother, Jay Foster, the president of Foster Brothers Wood Prod- ucts, Inc. (FBWP), have purchased a great many machines, systems, trucks and trail- ers across the years they have owned FBWP (where Steve is vice president) and MFC (where Jay is vice president). Due diligence defines the approach of Steve and Jay in matters of equipment – and business. “I looked at a lot of equip- ment in the field,” said Steve, assessing how different harvesters performed. Ulti- mately, the TimberPro 735 paired with a Risley Rolly II head got the nod because of “the durability factor.” Steve commented regarding the TimberPro equipment that he really appreciated the “Made in the USA” quality. Steve visited Pat Crawford, and Pat’s sons, Lee and Ken Crawford, in Shawano, Wis. “I …liked the idea that the man that designed TimberPro, did it himself – he had actually been a logger, and Ken and Mike Crawford are still logging,” explained Steve. “You can tell they run the machines they build.” Ultimately, Steve purchased the TimberPro 735 with Risley Rolly II head KNL LLC - Peerless chip van being quickly unloaded on a Peerless semi-portable trailer dumper. from Roland Machinery, working with Matt Hanson in Escanaba, Michigan, and Dan Christensen out of the Cape Girardeau, Missouri branch. A TimberPro TF830 forwarder was paired with the 735 harvester… and for on-site chipping, Steve chose a Morbark 40/36 whole tree track machine. Roland, headquartered in Springfield, Illinois, represents a number of equipment manufacturers to the forest products indus- try, and has offices in Illinois, Missouri, In- diana, Wisconsin, and Michigan. The TimberPro equipment will be serviced out of their Columbia, Missouri location. Three MFC employees work in the mechanical felling team. Jay’s son Justin runs the harvester, David Smith operates the forwarder, and Don Fraga hand fells trees bigger than a 23-inch diameter. “We make use of both Husqvarna and Stihl chainsaws,” said Steve. The first site being harvested is “a fairly large farm” in the cen- tral part of the Show Me State that’s owned by Steve and Jay. As the UMC contract ma- tures, standing timber will be purchased. In-wood chips supplied to UMC for biofuel must meet best management prac- tices (BMP’s) and be harvested from stand- ing timber marked for felling by trained foresters. Moreover, all members of the team working at harvesting must have com- pleted the Professional Timber Harvester Training (PTHT) program run by the Mis- souri Forest Products Association. (UMC wants to ensure that the green fuel – wood chips – is garnered in an environmentally sustainable way.) But not all timber being harvested by Foster Bros. in-woods chipping is done with a Morbark 40/36 track chipper. Shown here blowing chips into an IMCO trailer with Hallco live floors. Find Machinery Suppliers at: www.TimberEquipment.com