Logger of the Year Award

Roger Johnson, left, vice-chair of the Minnesota Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation committee, presented the Logger of the Year Award to James Scheff, owner of Scheff Logging and Trucking.

Scheff Logging and Trucking has been named the 2014 “Logger of the Year” by the Minnesota Sustainable Forestry Initiative Implementation Committee (MN SIC). The award was presented to the Marcell-based business at the Minnesota Logger Education Program (MLEP) workshop held in Tower April 15. James Scheff, owner, accepted the award from MN SIC vice-chair Roger Johnson in front of an audience of more than 200 loggers.

The Logger of the Year Award recognizes outstanding independent logging contractor performance with the purpose of honoring Minnesota’s competent professional independent logging contractors. The formal nomination notes that Scheff’s logging operations are testimony to what a modern-day business focused on timberland management can successfully be. The family-owned enterprise supplies wood fiber to Minnesota’s forest products economy, while at the same time harvesting trees in an environmentally sensitive manner.

“Jim and his staff exhibit a professional attitude and work ethic, preceded only by their ability to pay attention to detail,” according to retired U.S. Forest Service Forester and award nominator Dave Roerick. “When conditions change unexpectedly on a logging job, Jim is willing to adjust his operations in a fair and equitable manner, thus ensuring the best interests of the landowner are taken care of,” Roerick added.

Scheff and his employees are known for their willingness to not only take suggestions, but to implement ideas and make adjustments to their harvesting and forest management operations in ways that improve efficiencies whenever possible.

Founded in September 1977, Scheff and his family members, including his mother, have established a thriving business in Scheff Logging and Trucking. The business includes five timber harvesting crews, and one chipping operation. The company includes a full fleet of 17 wood hauling trucks and complement of heavy equipment to build and maintain roads, landings, and overall support of the business.

Scheff Logging and Trucking is not all about ‘business,’ however. Scheff volunteers for several professional programs and associations that help his logging business meet the challenging demands of his profession. He serves on the board of directors of the Minnesota Timber Producers Association and Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota.

His membership in the MLEP is evidence of his compliance with legal business requirements; Scheff’s certification as a Minnesota Master Logger recognizes his professionalism as an individual logger, earning Scheff Logging and Trucking the seal of approval as a logging business.

MLEP Executive Director Dave Chura congratulated Scheff, noting that in addition to the high risk and large business investment the family has made, Scheff pays close attention to the safety and needs of the company’s workforce. Employees are met with on a regular basis to discuss safety concerns; Scheff meets annually in a town hall setting with employees and his insurance agent to ensure that issues are addressed.

“Not only are Jim Scheff’s standards for his operations above the norm, he is a volunteer with several professional programs and associations that help both his, and his fellow logging businesses meet the challenging demands of the logging profession,”said Tim O’Hara, coordinator of the Duluth-based Minnesota MN SIC,

Scheff Logging and Trucking received a plaque and a check for $500 for the recognition along with several other gifts.

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