Day two in Duluth started with a bus ride to the Sappi pulp and paper mill in Cloquet, MN. Chris Martland shared the story of the mill which was originally opened in 1898. The mill’s 730 employees turn aspen and maple trees into high quality woodfibre products, such as fabric as well as paper used in glossy’s, advertising brochures and company annual statements. We toured the wood room portion of the mill where 400 trucks per day deliver logs and are debarked and processed into wood chips. It looked like a forage harvester on steroids. The Cloquet Mill operates 24/7 so they keep up to five days of wood chips available to feed the pulp processing equipment.
From the mill, we traveled by bus to an active logging site operated by Hull Forest Products. Owner Josh Hull described the logging process and how his company is a hybrid of old and new logging processes. The operator of the feller buncher measures and cuts each tree and sorts the trees based on the intended market for the species and size of the tree. Even though we got a little wet and the bus almost got stuck it was well worth it to meet Josh and learn about his operation.
The last tour of the day was the Hibbing Taconite mine facilitated by Kelsey Johnson, President of the Iron Mining Association. Iron mining in northern Minnesota started in the 1880s and has become a key part of our state and nation’s economy. Kelsey shared key information about the mining process, the reclamation process, the economic impact of the industry and how recent trade issues have influenced the business of mining taconite.
We ended that day with supper at the historic Glensheen Mansion. Leading up to the Duluth seminar, Christy Kallevig had shared a clue each day about our international destination which increased the anticipation. Katie Schneider (Class IX), MARL Board of Directors and Alumni Representative announced that we will be visiting Cambodia and Taiwan!! Olga and Christy gave an overview of both countries and shared something unique about our trip. MARL Alumni Ralph (Class I) and Mena (Class IV) Kaehler will be our guides on the trip as they have established relationships with key people in Cambodia. I am looking forward to learning more about these two countries as we prepare for the trip!
On to day three!
Written by Chris Horob