Louisville is known for bourbon, bluegrass, the Kentucky Derby, baseball bats, and now, as the destination for this year’s SAF National Convention. You won’t want to miss this exciting event, to be held October 30-November 3 at the Louisville Convention Center, featuring over 200 speakers, 80 exhibitors, 20 CFE credit hours, and endless networking opportunities. Approximately 1,300 foresters attend from around the country, and among those in attendance are many under-30 young professionals representing the future of our profession.
What can you expect at this year’s convention? Under the theme of “Goods from the Woods” there will be educational sessions spanning the full range of topics in natural resource management from silviculture, economics, urban forestry, biometrics, and more. Wednesday kicks off with a great slate of tours to showcase forestry in Kentucky, as well as more than a dozen workshops teaching the latest in forest technology and more. On Halloween, be sure to join the night hike in Jefferson Memorial Forest (we’ll provide the flashlights, you provide the costumes!) and on Sunday visit the renowned Mammoth Cave.
Plenary sessions will feature top-notch speakers on contemporary topics like new products from cellulose and a deeper consideration of right-doing than codes of conduct and rules of behavior can provide. And don’t miss the parade of SAF national award winners during Plenary 2 as we recognize our worthy colleagues. New this year are three “Advancing Our Profession” sessions that explore oak forests to meet current needs and demands; wood products of the future; and an open conversation on creating inclusive cultures.
The real hub of activity at convention is the exhibit hall. Exhibitors from equipment companies and tech companies, as well as universities and organizations, are anxious to share the latest technology and new products and develop new business relationships.
A new feature this year are innovation zones where live presentations, product demonstrations, and other activities will be held in an informal setting. Also in the exhibit hall is the SAF raffle and silent auction, featuring excellent items such as wood bowls, beautiful photos, trips, tools, jewelry, and hard-to-find books. And your dollars support the Foresters’ Fund and Kurt Gottschalk Science Fund.
Many have come to enjoy the hour-long Popcorn, Policy, and People (P3) sessions sprinkled throughout convention. Structured to encourage dynamic discussions, P3s will cover a range of topics connecting forests to human health, understanding the Farm Bill, and what’s next for the forest products and how SAF can play a role. US Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen will also offer insights and reflect on her experiences as chief.
We hope you take advantage of everything convention has to offer and meet new friends, reconnect with colleagues, and learn about the issues facing foresters and natural resource managers, all while enjoying the hospitality and atmosphere of Kentucky.
Register by September 19 to take advantage of early-bird convention rates. Convention details can be found at eforester.org/convention.