FARMINGTON — Foster Career and Technical Education Center’s forestry program recognized two supporters during the 47th annual Logger’s Meet Thursday, May 25.

Dean Merrill, who was the program’s instructor and also served as assistant after his retirement, was recognized for his three decades of teaching in the program.

RLH Enterprises in Strong and its owner Rob Elliott were recognized for their commitment and contributions.

“Rob has been helping us with the program financially,” Rodney Spiller, forestry program instructor, said. “He’s just been a great support, so we honored him.”

Held in the field across from Mt. Blue Campus, the meet was dedicated to Mark Beaudoin, a former instructor for Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico who was killed in a logging accident last October.

Another difference was only students in the local forestry program competed in events.


“We are hoping to get back to competing against other schools next year,” Spiller noted.

Only a few CTE Centers in Maine offer a forestry program.

Meet events and first three placings:

• Tree identification: [Tie] Tyler Turner/Jade Elyea, Gavin Karkos, Lallah Tyler
• Loader: Nate Farmer, Nick Rowe, Cole Sillanpaa
• Pulp throw accuracy: Nick Rowe and Cole Silanpaa, Adam Ming and Brad Couture, Connor Roy and Gavin Karkos
• Pulp throw distance [boys]: Tucker Bates, Brad Couture, Cole Sillanpaa
• Pulp throw distance [girls]: Lallah Tyler, Jesslyn Silanpaa, Jade Elyea
• Dot split: Adam Meng, Jesslyn Silanpaa, Brad Couture
• Cookie cut: Cole Sillanpaa, Lallah Tyler, Nate Farmer
• Precision bucking: Nick Rowe, Nate Farmer, Tyler Turner
• Cookie stack: Levi Bradley, Cole Sillanpaa, Nick Rowe
• Chainsaw: Trevor Couture, Brad Couture, Cole Sillanpaa
• Cross cut: Nick Rowe and Cole Sillanpaa, Brad Couture and Trevor Couture, Nick Rowe and Lallah Tyler
• Skid steer: Cole Sillanpaa, Nick Rowe, Trevor Couture                                                      • Safe logger competition: Nick Rowe, Trevor Couture,  Jesslyn Sillanpaa
• Sportsmanship award: Jesslyn Sillanpaa

Spiller said the logger’s meet would not be possible without sponsor support. The Austin family allows use of their property for the event while Kevin Frost provided breakfast and lunch, he noted.

Other sponsors include Franklin Savings Bank, RLH Enterprises, Melmac, Davco, Skowhegan Savings, Otis Federal Credit Union and Arkay Pizza.


“We had some big contributors this year,” Spiller stated. “They have helped us out a lot. The cost has nearly doubled. We are looking for sponsors for next year. Prices are rising and it is making it very difficult to host the event.”

Students in the Foster CTE Center forestry program will be doing community service projects with the Farmington Parks and Recreation Department before the school year ends.

Spiller noted that Foster programs have full student enrollment next year. “I had 44 students apply for forestry,” he said. He can only take 24 because one teacher is required for every six students.

“We are running out of space,” Spiller said. “If we keep up with those numbers in programs, we will need to consider space issues throughout the campus.

“It is good, [our programs] give kids more options.”





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