• Maryland Forests

Did you know that there's a Master Logger training program in Maryland?



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

Kedmenecz.


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

Solutions ®.


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.

https://extension.umd.edu/programs/environment-natural-resources/program-areas/maryland-delaware-master-logger-program

Follow UM Extension’s Woodland Wildlife Webinar Series by clicking here!

https://extension.umd.edu/resource/woodland-wildlife-wednesday-webinar-series

UM Extension Branching Out Newsletter

https://extension.umd.edu/woodland

4H Forestry

https://extension.umd.edu/programs/4-h-youth-development


4H Forestry Students at 2021 State Competition

Photo Credit: Agnes Kedmenecz