Name: Amanda Lang
Title: COO & Vice President of Client Services
Company: Forisk Consulting
Alma Mater: Warnell (University of Georgia)
1. What made you decide your career path?
I have always loved the outdoors. My family owns 200 acres of timberland in Houston County, GA and that is where I grew up and where my parents still live today. Both of my parents were foresters, and I loved hearing the stories about their friends and professors from forestry school. I was also active in FFA in High School and especially loved the forestry competitions. I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in forestry because I wanted to work outside, and because I wanted to work with forests.
2. What has been the most surprising thing you have learned or experienced within your industry or career?
I continue to be amazed by the people in forestry. There is somehow a common thread among us, as most of us truly have a passion for the outdoors and for the natural world. Although we may come to forestry from different backgrounds, that common thread unites us. And, most of the foresters that I have met are great people that I enjoy being around.
3. What do you feel is important for women landowners to know about?
It is important to understand the value of your land and timber, and to understand what makes it valuable. Work with a forestry consultant or professional that can do a survey of your timber (a timber cruise) so that you can get an estimate of the standing value of the trees. Also, ask questions so that you understand the forest industry and the mills that will buy wood from you. If your property has recreational value to you and your family, take that into account as well as you make plans for the future of your property.
4. What is the biggest challenge you think women landowners face?
Feeling like we can’t ask questions because it will seem like we are not fit to own and manage land. I think sometimes as women, we hold back, and don’t ask questions for fear that we will be looked down upon for asking a “stupid question.” We have to ask questions so that we can understand the industry and the value of our land – and so that we can make decisions about how to manage our land. If we don’t ask questions, then we miss out on an opportunity to learn.
5. What is your favorite memory, from your career, to date?
My best memory from forestry school in college is meeting my husband, Max, who studied wildlife and is now a taxidermist and avid hunter. We started dating after forestry conclave, which is a forestry competition between forestry schools across the Southeast. Max won second place in “Wildlife Identification” and I won third place in “Wood Identification” – he still likes to tease me that he got second and I got third!
My proudest memory from my career is when my business partner, Brooks, asked if I wanted to become a partner in Forisk. My favorite part about being a business owner is working with and growing our team of talented forestry professionals. I work with some wonderful, smart, funny people and together we are building a company that embodies our love of knowledge and common roots in forestry and natural resources.
My favorite memory from the field happened last year while visiting a logging operation in middle Georgia. One of our clients hosted us at their sawmill with a tour and took us to visit a logging operation. The logger had a piece of equipment called a processor on site that can measure individual logs and cut them precisely to length of different specifications. The logger asked if anyone wanted to operate the processor, and I volunteered. It was so much fun! It was like a life-sized video game…with a machine that swung a tree around.