The Georgia Forestry Association (GFA) and the Southeastern Wood Producers Association (SWPA) are proud to announce Harold “Harry” Sanders III of Sanders Logging Company in Cochran, Georgia, as the 2022-23 Georgia Logger of the Year. A third generation logger, Harry was recognized for his company’s operational excellence, community involvement and dedication to furthering the logging profession in Georgia.
Since he was a teenager, Harry, 30, knew that he wanted to be a logger. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he took over the daily operations of the company in 2014 after receiving his B.S. in Forestry from the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources. Today, Sanders Logging runs equipment on two company crews – one large and one small that can operate as three crews if needed. With a total of 25 employees, the company hauls on average 180 loads of wood per week across the middle Georgia region on 10 company trucks and seven contract trucks. Harry is also partnered with a contract crew that hauls an additional 45 loads per week.
Family is a major aspect to the company culture that has been cultivated over three generations at Sanders Logging. When asked about his success, Harry always attributes it to family.
“This award means so much to me and my dad. Logging is a lifestyle and it’s something your whole family has to be on board with,” Harry said. “When you work at something all the time and you’re so focused on your day to day and your peers notice and reward you with something like this it’s really special. We have a huge logging family that extends many generations in and out of the woods and I couldn’t be more thankful for what we have here.”
The Logger of the Year Award is presented to an individual who is nominated by the forestry community and reviewed by a committee of professionals across the industry. Harry and his father are well respected and highly regarded by both landowners, foresters and manufacturers in the area.
“One word to describe Sanders’s Logging is ‘dependable,’” said Larry Spillers, President of Jordan Forest Products in Barnesville. “It is a pleasure working with a supplier that does what they say they will do, how they say they will do it and when they say they will do it every day.”
Faye Mullis of Mullis Centennial Farms in Cochran spoke about Harry’s commitment to service and stewardship in her nomination of Sanders Logging for Logger of the Year.
“Harry wears the title of logger very well and represents the state of Georgia with dignity,” said Mullis. “He is dedicated to serving his personnel and landowners. Harry is diligent to go beyond the state’s minimum best management practices, and he is an exemplary steward of Georgia’s natural resources.”
In addition to running his business, Harry spends a considerable amount of time giving back to his community. As an advocate for forestry in Georgia, Harry is a dedicated member of GFA and SWPA, serving on Board of Directors for both organizations and testifying before the Georgia General Assembly last year on behalf of loggers across the state.
“Harry is really the ideal GFA member,” said GFA President & CEO Andres Villegas. “When our staff needs something, Harry is quick to provide support, and he is always thinking about what is best for the industry and his fellow loggers.”
On the local level, Harry and his company support community-level events, and he has been instrumental in leading the planning and promotion of regional meetings for both GFA and SWPA to bring together the forestry community in middle Georgia.
“Harry is one of our great young leaders in the logging industry,” said SWPA Executive Director Mike Beardsley. “Harry runs a first-class logging operation and in addition to running his business, Harry works on behalf of the entire logging industry. He is a true ambassador for our industry and is emblematic of the outstanding young leaders in the logging industry.”
Striving for consistent personal and professional improvement, Harry is a 2018 graduate of the Zell Miller Leadership Institute, and he is currently enrolled in the 2022-23 Class of the University of Georgia’s Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry (AGL). He is also a dedicated volunteer, serving on the Young Alumni Committee for the Warnell School and as a member of the Cochran-Bleckley Chamber of Commerce.
“We are delighted Harry Sanders was selected as the 2022-23 Georgia Logger of the Year,” said Dr. Dale Greene, Dean of the Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources at UGA. “Harry is a passionate supporter of Georgia forestry. He continues to be one of our most active young alumni with leadership roles on the Young Alumni Committee. Sanders Logging is a consistent sponsor of our golf tournament fundraisers. Harry is also a lifelong learner as demonstrated by his participation in the current Advancing Georgia Leaders leadership cohort. I look forward to seeing more great things from Harry as his career continues.”
As Georgia Logger of the Year, Sanders Logging has also been nominated for Forest Resources Association’s Southeastern Logger of Year, where he will be evaluated among his peers in surrounding states. GFA and SWPA will officially recognize Harry at the 2023 GFA Annual Conference in Jekyll Island.