Todd Proctor, a woodbuyer for Verso’s Androcoggin mill, got many laughs from the audience as he began explaining how his relationship with MFPC’s outstanding loggers of 2016 began.
“Back when I became a wood buyer down in the Freedom NH wood lot in 2006,” Proctor said, “William Day and Sons (of Porter) was one of the contracts I picked up. I’ve worked in the woods myself and I’ve worked at a log yard as a scaler. So I had a little bit of a background, but no background as far as purchasing and really haggling too much.
“So I went down and I met with Bill Jr., Brent, Scott and Brian’s dad, who was running the show at the time. And gave him my speech. You know, how I was going to be a wood buyer and be the best one ever and this is my philosophy on how things go.
“Everyone was friendly. I was impressed with the job the harvest looked really, really good. The equipment was in great shape. Guys looked professional. It was very obvious that they were a great outfit right from the get-go.
“So after my first meeting I came out of it feeling pretty good. They were willing to work with me, listen to me, I think this is going to be good. Well, apparently, as I heard later on from a source, they didn’t quite have the same impression of me that I did. I don’t think they were that impressed with their new wood buyer. It was reported that the word dumbass came to mind. Well, so be it, we moved along.
“But like any good supplier, they figured out how to get by with their inadequate wood buyer. And I’m proud of the good business we’ve done together over the years. And I’m very proud of the business that we’ve done together. I’ve seen their operation grow, seen them expand into trucking and harvesting and into forestry. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone over to their garage and seen the office changed and expanded because they’re getting bigger and better and adding more service to landowners and working with foresters.
“It’s been a highlight of my career to be working with them and to watch them prosper. I think that’s a good thing for any wood buyer to have.
“It’s been pretty grim in the pulpwood world over the last year, and it doesn’t look to get better anytime soon. What does look good is how the Days will weather the storm and how they will survive.
“They do very good work in the wood and the relationships they’ve built with landowners, foresters and all the wood markets will help them survive the tough times that we’re going through now.
“So when I was asked if I wanted to nominate one of my suppliers for Logger of the Year, William Day & Sons immediately came to mind.
“Every logger has taken a hit in this market, there’s no doubt about it. But with the foundation that they’ve built on a strong work ethic, the importance of family– surviving with three brothers running the show now. They have a good attitude, and a little luck (plus a good woodbuyer);. William Day and sons will make it through the bad times and prosper in the good times that are ahead.
“So thank you Brent, Brian and Scott.”
Brent Day accepted the award with his brothers, saying, “Guys like Todd and everybody who works with us is what makes this whole thing fly. Between my two brothers, myself, the fellows we’ve got working with us and Todd, the wood buyers it’s a community thing that pulls it all together and makes it happen. I want to say thank you to everybody for trusting what we do and supporting what we do.”