Rutherford Joins Rayonier

December 10, 2020
Rutherford Ride Alongs

For another Rutherford Ride Along, I spent some time in the trees with Rayonier in Nassau County to learn more about forestry’s economic and environmental impact on Northeast Florida.

Each year, Rayonier plants over 30 million trees by hand! Unlike seasonal crops, timber is planted for a generation, not just for a growing season. It takes years of hard work, disciplined care, and a healthy environment to keep trees in the optimal condition. New technologies allow them to use fewer chemicals and fertilizer, which is better for the environment and their trees.

It was also great to check in on how Rayonier is recovering from the damage they sustained from Hurricanes Michael and Florence. While the timber industry is not eligible for the federal assistance following natural disasters that’s made available to other agriculture sectors, last year I joined my colleagues in fighting for USDA emergency assistance for timber producers harmed by Hurricanes Michael and Florence. I’m happy to report they’re growing back strong.

Many thanks to Mike Bell, Mark Herbert, and the wonderful staff at Rayonier for giving me the opportunity to join them for a Rutherford Ride Along!