The sound of chainsaws and rolling logs will fill the Hallsville Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 16.
The 64th Midwestern Foresters’ Conclave has a full slate of timbersports events beginning at 7:45 a.m. The event is a collegiate competition and will feature 11 schools from across the country. The University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Forestry Club is hosting the event and will have 13 students participate.
“It’s fantastic,” said Benjamin Knapp, the club’s faculty advisor. “There is a lot of history with the conclave event, so having that presence here is really exciting.”
Within the competition, STIHL will host its Timbersports Midwestern Collegiate Qualifier. The qualifier will feature four events and each school can have one competitor in each event. Those that win the qualifier events will advance to the U.S. Collegiate Championship.
ESPN will be on hand to shoot video of the qualifier, which will run from 12:30-2 p.m.
The collegiate qualifier doesn’t count toward the scoring of the other conclave events, which are plentiful. Events include men’s and women’s axe throwing, men’s and women’s log rolling, and wood identification. There will even be a match splitting event, where participants try to split a match with an axe.
“There are set rules for each competition,” Knapp said. “All of those scores get compiled. The school with the most points is the overall winner.”
The Hallsville Fairgrounds will host the event, rain or shine. The fairgrounds include an outdoor arena as well as an indoor building. The conclave will take place in the outdoor arena. It will move inside if the weather doesn’t cooperate.
“Everyone here is really excited,” said Tom Pauley, conclave liaison and member of the Board of Directors for the Hallsville Community Development Association. “There will be a lot of stuff going on, so we encourage everyone to head out and watch. It’s really cool to be able to host the event.”
The event is free and open to the public. The Hallsville Masonic Lodge and the Hallsville 4-H club will be selling concessions for guests.
Conclave events end around 6 p.m.
“The site in Hallsville is wonderful,” Knapp said. “It has everything we need.”
The MU Forestry Club is very active throughout the year. Along with the conclave, the club does a lot of volunteer work. Their biggest fundraiser is the Christmas tree farm.
“They manage the Christmas tree farm,” Knapp said. “They sell a lot of those trees, too. It’s a big event and really good experience.”
Iowa State, Michigan State, Purdue and the University of Illinois are just a few of the schools that will compete in the conclave. Three Rivers Community College, in Poplar Bluff, Mo., will also compete.