Did you know that there's a Master Logger training program in Maryland?
Updated: May 23
Meet Agnes Kedmenecz, University of Maryland Extension- Woodland Stewardship Educator &
Master Logger Coordinator
If you ask Agnes Kedmenecz what she likes about her job, her answer is simple
and straightforward: “Everything.” The statewide Woodland Stewardship Educator who
is located at the University of Maryland’s Wye Research and Education Center (WREC)
in Queenstown put down local roots here in 2018.
Having “always loved water, always loved trees and loved being outside,”
Kedmenecz never imagined she’d end up as a natural resources professional. Looking
back and considering her father was a mechanic, she realizes where her fascination
with logging machinery came from. Being a forest stewardship educator and
coordinating the MD/DE Master Logger program seems like a natural fit now to
Her story is quite unique considering the late start she got before finding her
eventual home as a woodland educator. Originally from Canada, she earned biology
and teaching degrees in her mid 30s. It was an intensive training at the Canadian
Ecology Center that led her to appreciate and want to support forestry professionals and
landowners. Shortly thereafter, she left our neighbor to the north to pursue a graduate
degree (MS) in Forestry at West Virginia University. It was there, studying under Dr.
Dave McGill with WVU Extension, that she found her niche in outreach and education. It
was then, she said, that she knew “this is exactly what I want to do.”
With UM Extension, Kedmenecz considers it a privilege to work with landowners,
loggers and foresters statewide, all in the name of good forest stewardship. It is the
Indigenous People’s philosophy of taking into account seven generations into the future
and how to pass a healthy, regenerative landscape forward that inspires her in the work
she loves. Ensuring a sustainable future for the land, wildlife, landowners, and
professional loggers and how their harvests can contribute to the community are all
driving forces behind Kedmenecz’s work. Underlying all of that is her deep appreciation
for working with so many who “care about the land.”
Armed with a wishlist of more funding, more staff, more events and outreach,
Kedmenecz continues to be a tremendous communicator and connector for loggers,
foresters and landowners. Closing the generational and communication gap in the fields
of forestry and logging are two of her biggest concerns and is where she sees an
opportunity for 4H youth outreach, planting the seed for that next generation of logging
and forestry professionals. The thought of losing the multi-generational logging families
that exist in Maryland makes this all the more relevant.
Partnerships are a huge part of what Kedmenecz does, including those that
cross state lines. She recently started the Mid-Atlantic Logger Training Group, which is
in partnership with VA, WV, PA and OH. Part of those efforts included creating an eight-
part webinar series for logging professionals. It is the dot connecting that she thrives on
in her work, whether it’s bringing a landowner and forester together to develop a
management plan or hosting webinars like UM Extension’s Woodland Wildlife
Wednesdays to inform and educate professionals and the public.
Increased training and teaching across all generations calls for the kind of
networking that Kedmenecz has made a niche for herself quite successfully in, including
as coordinator for the MD-DE Master Logger Program. The program involves four core
courses that cover a range of topics. Courses are based off of the Sustainable Forestry
Initiative requirements to become a trained logger. Two of the biggest reasons to
become a MD/DE Master Logger are the ability to harvest on state lands as well as the
ability to bring wood to SFI certified organizations or companies like Pixelle Specialty
The fact that our state is home to national award-winning loggers is a testament
not only to the MD-DE Master Logger program but to the people that support it as well,
including Agnes Kedmenecz.
Agnes Kedmenecz shown pictured with the crew from Timber Harvest, Inc.
Timber Harvest Inc. is a Sponsor of the Maryland Forests Association.
Photo Credit: EDWIN REMSBERG PHOTOGRAPHS
Project Support: RURAL MARYLAND COUNCIL
LINKS TO LEARN MORE:
MD/DE Master Logger Program.
Follow UM Extension’s Woodland Wildlife Webinar Series by clicking here!
UM Extension Branching Out Newsletter
4H Forestry Students at 2021 State Competition
Photo Credit: Agnes Kedmenecz