Hi-Tech in the Lumber Industry

FARMS Leadership | Tehama | Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Location of Field Day
Sierra Pacific Industries 19794 Riverside Ave. Anderson, CA 96007

Field Day Host(s) and Mentors

  • Kristy Lanham: North Sierra Community Relations Manager
  • Deanna Lewis: Communications Coordinator
  • John Parratt
  • Vaughn Emmerson: Division Manager-Fabrication
  • Drew Peterson: Electrical Supervisor

Theme
Technology and Manufacturing

Summary of the Day 

Tehama FARMS Leadership kicked off the 2021/22 year with a field day at Sierra Pacific Industries in Anderson, CA. Students from Red Bluff, Los Molinos, Corning, and Orland High Schools all came together to explore the career opportunities at SPI as well as learn more about the Lumber Industry as a whole and how Sierra Pacific Industries uses every fiber of every tree it harvests. Kristy Lanham, North Sierra Community Relations Manager, and Deanna Lewis, the Communications Coordinator welcomed us with an overview of the company sharing about how it is still a family-owned company with 4 generations of Emmerson’s working in different divisions of the operation and how SPI now owns over 2.3 million acres of land in Washington, Oregon, and California.

               We then went over to the Cogen and were introduced to John Parratt, who led the students on a tour of the Cogen itself. What is a Cogen you might be wondering like most of the students were? Cogeneration is the process of using steam to heat kilns that dry lumber, and then again to turn a turbine which makes electricity. Why is this important? Students learned that the manufacturing of lumber, windows, doors, and other products that SPI makes generates lots of low-grade byproducts, bark, and sawdust which they can burn in their Cogen to in turn create all the necessary power to run their entire Anderson facility, as well as about 5,000 local homes. So, it is an amazing way to be sustainable while literally using every fiber of every tree that comes onto the facility! Since SPI treats the FARMS Leadership Students like VIP, they were able to make the 9-story climb to the top of the building and take in the breathtaking view! This was by far the highlight of most students’ day!

               After the exciting Cogen tour, we headed over to the Fab and Tech Shop and met Vaughn Emmerson, Division Manager-Fabrication, who shared about all the opportunities available in this state-of-the-art facility. We were able to meet members of the impressive team of mechanical and electrical engineers, welders, machinists, and electrical technicians and see them building parts and pieces that will be used in the new upgraded Sawmill that is currently the main priority of the Fab Shop. Drew Peterson, Electrical Supervisor, took the time to teach the students why high voltage power is important and used in a facility such as this, opposed to lower voltage power like what we have in our homes. He passed around a portion of the power line that runs from the Cogen to the rest of the facility for the students to explore hands on.

My favorite part of the day was…”Going into the shop. All the equipment they had was incredible and it was cool to compare it to our school’s shop!” Lillian Tomasetti, Red Bluff High School

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