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Aaron Burmeister, owner of Burmeister Logging and Burmeister Trucking, and his son Ben, make a great team. Despite both of them thinking their careers would head in different directions, the challenges of running a logging business held great appeal for both father and son. Burmeister Logging, now more than 36 years in business, is a fully mechanized operation, specializing on harvesting small woodlots in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area. Like so many long-established Master Logger Certified businesses, a commitment to continuous improvement in all areas of operation is evident.

Growing up just outside of Green Bay on a dairy farm, Aaron was no stranger to working in the woods. In 1976, he made his first money by selling firewood to teachers but didn’t think his future involved the woods and decided to go into metal fabricating and factory work instead. The economy had other plans and as the iron industry took a hit in the late ‘70’s, he found himself back in the woods, first working for his brother, then later buying in as a partner, and then finally taking over.

Aaron’s business, as well as his business sense, have evolved over time. By the late 80’s and early 90’s, mechanized harvesting was fairly new in the Lake States, and Aaron saw an opportunity for safer and more efficient operations. Over the years, he upgraded his equipment to Timber Jack and John Deere. electricity el paso apartments His crew size has fluctuated over the years, but experience has taught him “Iron that’s sitting still isn’t making money. I keep enough guys on to keep the forwarder busy. Five is the sweet spot for us right now”.

Aaron has been involved with Great Lakes Timber Producers Association (GLTPA) his entire career, and formerly involved with FISTA (Forest Industry Safety Training Alliance, Inc.) serving in various leadership roles throughout his tenure. In 2004, when GLTPA was recruiting for its inaugural Master Logger Certification class, Aaron decided it was a good fit for Burmeister Logging. “It was clear to me I was already performing at that level. I thought of myself as a ‘Master Logger’, I might as well have the paper to prove it. gas in back trapped It proved what I was already doing”.

Son Ben joined his dad in the business 2011 and runs the harvester. Despite having grown up around the logging business and working on occasion through high school and college, Ben also thought his career was headed on a different path. After deciding indoor work wasn’t for him, Ben saw a great opportunity in the logging business. “I love the sense of accomplishment in logging. I love working outside. Working with people. Running a business and making decisions. Logging is wearing a lot of hats”.

Son Ben clearly is following in his Dad’s footsteps. When asked about his work, Ben was quick to reply his goal every day is to, “exceed expectations. Everyday. I am going the distance to make sure everyone is happy and satisfied with what we are doing. I ask a ton of questions, whether of the landowner or the consulting forester on the job. hp gas online login I want to know what they expect, and then exceed it”.

Both Aaron and Ben mention team work as key to the business success. Aaron is a self-proclaimed numbers guy and prides himself on careful business decisions. He advises working closely with a good accountant who understands the logging business, and then most importantly, “Believe what they tell you”. He counts a long standing relationship with GreenStone Farm Credit services as a smart business decision, both for accounting services and advisement. “I started to realize to get to where I wanted to be (businesswise), I had to get more aggressive about buying quality equipment. Over the years, I’ve learned to rely more on brains more than brawn. I find myself on the phone much more than I used to be”, he chuckles as he mentions the challenges of the ever increasing need to understand changing market pressures and a global economy.

Burmeister Logging will be Master Logger Certified for 15 years this upcoming January. We are really proud to be a Master Logger Certified business”, says Ben. “It’s the first thing we tell customers when we meet them. I’m an Eagle Scout, and I think of it as a good analogy. Master Logger Certification, like being an Eagle Scout, means I have proven leadership, skills and abilities. mp electricity bill payment online bhopal When people know you are an Eagle Scout, they tend to think of you in higher regard. This program is like that for the logging industry”. Aaron is a member of Wisconsin Master Logger Certification program, under the direction of Don Peterson. He strongly believes in the integrity of the Master Logger Certification program and that the field verification visits, recertification process and program’s “complaint hot line” are all important tools for keeping the high standards in place.

Ben agrees, “Anybody can hop in a harvester or grab a chainsaw and start cutting down trees. hp gas online complaint But are you doing the right thing for the woods? It all comes down to the fact that for a Master Logger Certified business, everyone’s job is quality control. The professionalism, the higher standards. The truck driver, the harvester operator, forwarder operator, the forester- they all understand what it means.”

For son Ben, his top concern is educating the customer and building trust for quality loggers. “Being Master Logger Certified means we pay attention to all the details, all the guidelines. But sometimes, and it’s SO aggravating, we see a job that was all hacked up. Where a crew didn’t do a good job or did it a lot differently than it should have been done. How do we as loggers, as an industry, educate the public?” But Ben is proactive, “One group I have workd with is Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association. They do a lot of education with field days or workshops. They teach the landowners what to look for, how to manage their land for wildlife habitat with food plots or vernal pools. What to look for in a quality logger. I think we need more of that”.

Aaron Burmeister is proud of his excellent reputation and the relationships within the industry he has built. a gas mixture is made by combining Unfortunately, Aaron also sees the number of ‘bad actors’ in logging increasing in his area, especially within the last five years. He feels this is a direct result of mills who care more about cheap wood than quality environmental practices. He did not shy away from stating the need for more advocacy for responsible timber harvesting and following this advocacy up the supply chain to the mills. “When SFI got started so many years back, I was on the committee for FISTA. electricity 3 phase vs single phase We were trying to raise the bar for the industry. The guidelines then and today ask more of us, require more of us. Master Loggers have raised their bar far beyond that. Well, we are in a position now that we have to ask FSC and SFI, ‘What are you going to do for us?’. There is a clause in the Global Biodiversity Guidelines. In exchange for all the things we are doing, we are supposed to getting respectable wages. A decent living. If they (SFI/FSC) want to raise the industry from an environmental standpoint, they need to favor the ones doing the good job. We need to remind them of their commitments. We need to start dangling that carrot in front of their nose”.