Old Growth, New Era
Any given day at Saloom Properties of Evergreen, Alabama, includes many tasks and challenges, from building and maintaining roads and fire lanes, to moving logs and clearing land. For the really big jobs, Saloom seeks help from neighbors, consulting foresters, and friends. But he and his family do nearly all the day-to-day work themselves.
“You’re talking to my workforce,” he says, laughing. “I like to say that I do 99 percent of the work on this farm — 100 percent of the time. But the truth is that nothing would get done without my wife.”
Experience taught Saloom that a company is only as productive as the equipment it uses. And when it comes to keeping his operation moving forward, he chooses
John Deere is very proud of its products and parts. And that attention to detail is helping tree farmers like me restore and conserve this longleaf pine range.
DEERE IN THE WOODS
Saloom’s John Deere fleet began to take shape in 1984 with the purchase of a 530 Tractor. “A three-cylinder, refurbished model a local dealer was selling,” he says with a smile. “It’s still here, and it still works.”
Over time, Saloom continued to add Deere equipment to his fleet, including a 450J LGP Dozer, a 310SE Backhoe Loader, a 5420 Tractor, and plenty of Worksite Pro™ attachments to boot. And he utilizes each machine well outside of what most other operators would call “typical” use.
“My 5420 Tractor was built for ag, but I’ll tell you right now, it’s as effective in the woods as it is in a field.”
Saloom attributes Deere’s versatility and reliability to the workmanship that goes into each machine. “I have friends who use competing brands, and I can tell
you there’s no comparison,” he says. “John Deere is very proud of its products and parts. And that attention to detail is helping tree farmers like me restore and conserve this longleaf pine range.”
BACKBONE OF AMERICA
From the early to mid-1800s — before the age of mass-produced steel — the longleaf pine’s dense, durable, and rot-resistant lumber was America’s building material of choice. But years of extensive logging took its toll, and only a fraction of the original old-growth longleaf range survives today.
In recent years, the federal government, through the USDA, conservationists, organizations like The Longleaf Alliance, and private landowners like Saloom, has been pushing to repopulate the longleaf and other diminishing timber species. “Now there are 88,000 Certified American Tree Farms all across the United States,” says Saloom. “That’s a big voice.”
This is Saloom’s tenth year planting longleaf. By the end of 2016, he will have planted just over 1,000 acres of these storied pines on his land. In the
process, he will help revitalize a native ecosystem that, without intervention from conscientious landowners like him, will continue to disappear.
When asked if he’s realized a return on his investment in Deere equipment, Saloom’s answer is a firm yes. But for him, return on investment transcends dollars and cents. “This equipment has paid for itself over and over in many
ways,” says Saloom. “Just walk our property and see what kind of land management is being done with the help of our Deere equipment — the answer is clear. Our forest management and conservation work is beneficial for all of society.”
Saloom Properties, LLC is serviced by Beard Equipment Co., Pensacola, Florida (construction) and The Farm Center, East Brewton, Alabama (ag).