TOUTLE - Where would you find school kids encouraged to start up a chainsaw, throw an axe, or dig their spikes into a wooden pole that they were climbing? Answer: At an FFA logging rodeo. And that is exactly what FFA members from Naselle did at the FFA Regional Logging Rodeo held near Toutle this past Saturday, Sept. 14.
Over 100 FFA members from around southwest Washington met together at Eco Park near Mt. St. Helens for a sunny day of logging skills competition.
The logging rodeo is a chance for high school FFA members to practice and compete in logging skills that have been used for the past century. Contest events include an axe throwing, choker setting, chain saw bucking, log carry, both single and double cross cut sawing, pole climbing, and chain saw trouble shooting. Contestants compete to see who can get the best time at an event, or, in the case of axe throwing, who can be most accurate with their tool. There is even a match splitting contest in which kids can put their wood chopping skills to work to see who can split a wooden match. Even though this was the first logging rodeo attended by Naselle FFA students, they proved themselves to be very competitive crew. Results were as follows: Chainsaw bucking: Greg Queener 5th place, Rebecca Johnson 3rd place; match split: Renee Steppe 4th place, Rebecca Johnson 3rd place, Greg Queener 5th place; log carry: team of Renee Steppe and Rebecca Johnson took 5th place, and the team of Greg Queener and Wryan Anderson took 3rd place. In the choker setting contest Michael Gilbert came in 3rd place.