From the Baltic States young foresters competition to the European Foresters competition
May 19th 2019

The spring of 2019 is filled with excitement and competitive spirit in Ogre Technical School, as the school hosted the 56th Baltic (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) Forestry School competition from 10 to 13 April.

Within the framework of the competition, the teams from the Baltic countries’ vocational education institutions came to Latvia to prove their knowledge and skills in the disciplines related to the forestry sector – Ogre Technical School represented Latvia, the team of Luua Forestry School  – Estonia and the team of Lithuanian College of Forestry and Environmental Engineering – Lithuania.

Every year this competition takes place in one of the Baltic States – 54th Baltic Forestry School Competition was held in Estonia, 55th in Lithuania.

In early morning of April 11, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian school teams arrived in the forest of the Ķegums county owned by the Ministry of Education and Science and administrated by Ogre Technical School to start a Forest Relay, where the contestants could prove how well they know the species of trees and bushes, and recognise birds and animals in 16 different checkpoints located on a 4 km track. Young people had to judge by the eye the diameter of the tree, the height and the age of the stand, demonstrate special knowledge to determine the number of trees per hectare in the forest and calculate the percentage of different trees per hectare. This task was best performed by Latvian team members.

As a host school, Ogre Technical School took care of its guests, not only by ensuring their participation in the competition but also by presenting Latvia and one of the forestry companies. After the relay, all participants visited Daugava forestry of the SIA “Rīgas meži” to get acquainted with the “green class” and the evening ended in a really sporty atmosphere when the students together with their teachers participated in fun relays and played volleyball.

On the 12 and 13 April, the event continued at the exhibition complex “Rāmava” with the competition of woodcarving teams and future forest machine operators.

The participants of the woodcarving teams had to perform various tasks: lay down the masts or demonstrate tree felling on the simulator, prove their agility and precision in the relay “Farmer Walk”, when the chain of the saw needs to be replaced in an attractive manner, a triangle must be cut in  a wooden log and throwing a tennis ball through it afterwords, and split a wooden block in at least 5 logs. These tasks were the warming up activities before the main disciplines, which took place on 13 April, when the participants carried out a combined elongation, puncturing and pruning, and changed the chainsaw chain in a measured speed contest.

On 12 and 13 April, the future forest machine operators also showed their skills in working with forest machines, competed working with the simulator and finally for the nomination of the best operator of a real forestry tractor – forwarder.

During the competition, the students of Ogre Technical School produced a Traveling Cup, which this year, along with the Estonian team – winners of the contest – went to Luua Forestry School.

At the end of the competition, each participant received gratitude for participation and surprise awards from the supporters of Ogre Technical School.

It is particularly pleasant to remark that during this contest Ogre technical school signed new cooperation agreements with SIA M.T.Z. service ”and SIA“ Kombainserviss ” both for the support of practice places for the future motor vehicle mechanics as well as for the purchase of new tractor equipment for the teaching and learning process.

The competition is the first step towards the European new foresters competition, which will be held in Svenljunga (Sweden) on 23-26 May 2019, in the year 2020 in Romania and in 2021 in Latvia, and the main organizer of which will be Ogre Technical School in cooperation with entrepreneurs of the forest industry.

Ilze Brante, NC Latvia