LLA/SIF name Gary Taylor Logger of Year for 2013
"I live to preach, and log to live," is how pastor and logging contractor Gary Taylor of Haynesville described his dual occupation.

Taylor, who is pastor of the United Pentecostal Church in Haynesville, was named Logger of the Year by the Louisiana Loggers Association/Self Insured Fund at its annual meeting in Winnfield at the end of May.

His company, Taylor Timber Contractors, runs logging operations in North Louisiana and South Arkansas, under contract with Timberland Services in Taylor, in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. "They buy timber, and we cut and haul it," Taylor said.

Gary is a third-generation logger, having worked first with his grandfather, Jack Taylor, his father, Billy, and uncle John. Straight out of high school, he went one semester to college, then joined the family business. In 1975, Gary and partner Gerald Martin bought his dad's interest, and operated until seven years ago when Gerald retired.

Today, Gary's company operates a woods crew with John Deere and Tigercat skidders, Log Max processor, Prentice pull-through delimber, and six full-time trucks.

Gary and his wife, the former Susan Hopkins, eloped to Shreveport and married with his was 17 and she was 15, "about 38 years ago," he said. The marriage has produced a daughter, Jennifer, and son Todd, and they enjoy their three grandchildren.

He was assistant pastor for six years, and has been pastor for 6 and a half years at the Haynesville United Pentecostal Church.

Hobbies? "I'm an avid deer hunter," Gary said. "But I'm not very good at it."

The Logger of the Year award was presented at ceremonies held at the Huey P. Long Technical Community College auditorium in Winnfield by Andrew Tant, board member of the Loggers Association.

Also on the program were Danny Dructor of Hemphill, Texas, executive of the American Logging Council; Tommy Green, representative of the Self Insurance Fund's claims management contractor; Jeff Morrison, safety presentation for LA One-Call System; and Spencer Gaar, presenting awards for no lost time accident records for LLA/SIF members.

LLA/SIF Board president Tony McManus was master of ceremonies.