swpa pioneer award &
LOGGER OF THE YEAR Award recipients

2022 Florida Logger of The Year
Dillon Straton III, Dillon Straton Jr., and Lillian Straton

Dillon M. Stratton, III
D.M. Stratton, LLC.
Green Cove Springs, FL

Faith, family, and logging friends are what drive Dillon M. Stratton III and his three-generation
logging family. Their family-owned business was founded in 1958. He follows in his father’s
footsteps being awarded the Florida Logger of the Year Award. Dillon grew up around logging,
he worked alongside his granddad and dad, Dillon Jr. They set an example of exemplary
business practices, and this is where he learned his logging skills. Dillon has been a trained
Master Logger from the beginning. Dillon took over the company in 2015 and became the
President of D.M. Stratton, LLC. He expanded their services beyond contract logging to actively
participate in the NE Florida timber marketplace as an independent timber buyer. Dillon started
3D Trucking, LLC, a dedicated log hauling business in 2015.

The Stratton family is well known as a first-class timber producer and their services are sought
after by landowners and wood consumers. They manage their business with great attention to
detail and are respected by other logging industry professionals for their knowledge of how to
properly manage a successful logging operation. Like you, Dillon has seen ups and downs
throughout his time in the industry. He has had to make some tough decisions over the years and
taken some strong stands. His faith in the Lord and the help of his family has brought him
through trying times. Dillon learned from his father to not look at his fellow loggers as
competitors but as friends. For over 15 years, Matt Goodin, Sr. Procurement Manager with West
Fraser, has known and worked with DM Stratton. Matt stated, “From the time Dillon worked
with his dad for a wood dealer to the time he became an independent logger, DM Stratton has
always been the model of professionalism and integrity. DM Stratton truly cares about the
logging industry and the people they employ”.

D.M. Stratton, LLC is a family-owned business and involves other family members. Dillon’s
wife, Lisa, is the main administrative contact for the company. His dad has retired from the
company but still works part-time and helps Dillon manage the maintenance program on all the
equipment. Dillon’s nephew also works for the company and has his Master Logger training.
He helps Dillon run crews and is training up to possibly take over the family business one day.

The Stratton’s were founding members of SWPA and have been involved with the American
Loggers Council since its inception and are long standing members of the Florida Forestry
Association. Dillon is a servant leader when it comes to his work with SWPA. He has a strong
passion for logging and for his fellow loggers. That is evident through his involvement with
SWPA. Mr. Jerry Gray, President of SWPA, said, “His passion for logging issues stems from
being a third-generation logger. Dillon truly does not want to see logging die out. This concern
drives him to be a voice of SWPA. Dillon is what I consider an up and coming “young gun” in
our industry that is so desperately needed. As I age, it excites me to see young men in the
business.” Dillon is doing what he can to make the logging industry better by staying involved
with local loggers, he was instrumental this year in setting up SWPA Chapter Meetings and
workshops to keep loggers and haulers engaged in continuing education and standing for
loggers’ interests in Florida. We wish him well in the FRA’s Regional Logger of the Year
competition. Dillon is guided by his faith and places a high value on good relationships and these
common values are what brings us all together at the SWPA.

2022 Georgia Logger of The Year
Two Men By The Truck

Harry Sanders, III
Sanders Logging Company, Inc.
Cochran, GA

The GFA’s nominating committee selected J. Harold (Harry) Sanders III as the Georgia Logger
of the Year, the committee, truly believes that Harry exemplifies the best qualities of a logger
and community leader and is an outstanding example for the rest of our industry.

Harry is a 3rd generation logger as his grandfather started the business 40 years ago. His father is
still involved in the company today. Harry has a passion for the work he does in the woods and
the logging community. He grew up on a farm in a small town and his father logged, Harry fell
in love with it. He wanted to be just like him. Sanders Logging Co., Inc. has an excellent
reputation in their community and beyond. It was built by his father, over time, as he gained the
trust of folks by being honest and fair. Harry considers it a blessing to be able to work along-side
him. Sanders Logging always tries to do the right thing and he realizes it is the key to building a
good reputation in the community and industry. He is a graduate of the Warnell School of
Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia, with a Bachelor of Science in
Forest Resources. Harry is currently involved in the Warnell Young Alumni Board, formerly
serving as the Chairman.

Sanders Logging goes above in beyond their care of the forest and the safety of their employees.
Harry understands the value of the resource both in the woods and out. Four Sanders Logging
employees, including Harry, are currently active with Georgia Master Timber Harvester training
to ensure trained professionals are on site. During the GFA Committees site visit, they noted that
they were impressed with BMP's, site aesthetics, and other environmental factors. The site
visited was very clean and well harvested. Harry stated that, “the vast majority of the timber they
purchase is on a lump sum, so the crew is strongly versed in timber utilization.” Sanders Logging
harvest is either Tree Farm or SFI certified. Some of the land is also FSC certified as well. Safety
is a primary focus with Sanders. They have hired a logging safety contractor, "Safety on Site", to
help manage the in woods and trucking safety program. Darlene McDonald, President of Safety
On Site and SWPA Board Member said, "We are fortunate to have someone like Harry who is
active on so many levels in our industry. He is a great example of the kind of young leaders we
need to find more of."

Harry’s commitment to his community and logging is evident in his engagement at home and on
the road. In November, he had SWPA’s first Cochran/Middle Georgia Chapter Meeting. Harry
was instrumental in getting loggers to attend and trying to grow involvement at the local level.
He is currently a member of the GFA and a member of their Harvesting and Logistics
Committee. Harry has aided in testifying to the House Transportation Committee at the State
Capitol and served as part of the virtual forestry education project put together by the Georgia
Forestry Foundation and Georgia Public Broadcasting. Additionally, he is involved in the local
chamber of commerce and previously sat on the chamber of commerce board of directors. His
contribution to his local community demonstrates his hunger to see loggers thrive. Harry serves
as a mentor for several forestry students during their time in Warnell. He is currently going
through this year’s class of Advancing Georgia’s Leaders in Agriculture and Forestry (AGL).
This group, hosted by the College of Agriculture and Environmental Science and the Warnell
School of Forestry and Natural Resources, educates, empowers, and connects professionals in
agriculture, forestry, natural resources, and allied sectors to be dynamic industry leaders. Harry’s
enthusiasm for the industry is contagious. He participates in the Gully Branch Kids Forestry Day
with Earl and Wanda Barrs. This program focuses on exposing elementary age kids to forestry.
Additionally, Harry volunteers to participate in the Bleckley County Farm Day for middle school
and high school aged students every year, and recently spoke at the Billy Lancaster Forestry
Camp. “His passion for the logging community inspires us all to do more and complain less,”
stated Mike Beardsley, the SWPA, Exec Director.

2021 SWPA LOGGer OF THE YEAR Recipents

  • Florida  -  Jerry Gray  - Gray Logging, LLC - Madison, FL
    and  2021 National  Outstanding Logger of the Year


  • Georgia -  Greg Mullis  - Mullis Logging, Inc.  -  Pearson, GA


  • Dillon M. Stratton, Jr. - DM Stratton, LLC  - Green Cove Springs, FL


  • Charles Johns - Johns & Conner, Inc.  Hilliard, FL

2018 Logger of the Year  - no nominations

2017 Logger of the Year Recipents

  • Florida - D&S Timber, Inc.  Live Oak, FL
  • Georgia - Daniel Dunagan, Inc.  Rome, GA

2016  Logger of the Year Recipents

  • No Florida Logger of the Year 2016
  • Georgia - Hood Timber & Landscaping Products -  Adel, GA
  • 2016 National  Outstanding Logger of the Year   M.A. Rigoni, Inc.  Perry, FL

2015 Logger of the Year Recipents

  • Florida - M.A. Rigoni, Inc. - Perry, FL
  • Georgia - Triple J Logging - Summerville, GA