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Auburn forestry graduate, philanthropist Elmo Ziebach honored with Outstanding Alumni Award

By April 21, 2022 April 28th, 2022 No Comments

Elmo D. Ziebach, registered forester and co-founder of Ziebach and Webb Timber Company, has been recognized as the recipient of the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award by Auburn University’s College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences.

Ziebach graduated from Auburn in 1969 with a degree in forest management. He is the first of three generations in his family to graduate from the College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. His son, Douglas Ziebach, graduated in 1995, and his grandson, Chase Luker, in 2014.

After graduation, Elmo Ziebach began his forestry career with International Paper Company in Perkinston, Mississippi. He was responsible for land management to wood yard relief at various short-wood yards. Later, he was hired as the procurement manager at Bendix Forest Products at its grade sawmill in Vredenburgh, Alabama.

In 1979, Ziebach and Mike Webb founded Ziebach and Webb Timber Company. The company operates in central and south Alabama and northwest Florida, where they deliver a combined 1.7 million tons of raw material annually to various forest product mills. The company currently employs 13 Auburn forestry graduates.

Thomas Fell, a classmate of Ziebach, nominated him as alumnus of the year because of his character and good name.

“Elmo Ziebach is a boots-on-the-ground traditional forestry and wildlife manager whose career has been spent in the woods and forest with the regular folks rather than in the board room or a corporate office,” said Fell. “He has served the forestry and wildlife community landowners of all socioeconomic levels for 43 years with integrity. His stewardship of the sustainable resources and the environment through partnership with the landowners and other stakeholders he has dealt with through the years serves as an example for all.”

Ziebach serves as senior partner and manages 22 timber harvesting crews. All logging crews are experienced in Best Management Practices, or BMP, guidelines set forth by the Logging Council of Alabama, ensuring all logging operations are conducted in an environmentally sound manner.

He served for 10 years as a board member for the Forest Fund. He has supported the college with donations and raised funds to construct Auburn’s new Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building and is a major contributor to the Lt. Harry Prince, USA, Memorial Endowed Scholarship.

Ziebach contributes to numerous church and civic needs in Monroeville, Alabama. He has also authored two books, “The Second Head of Chocolata” and “A Bubba on Polecat Bay.”

“Through his career, Elmo Ziebach has seen the industry change from short-wood to long-wood and the modern mechanization of logging,” said Janaki Alavalapati, dean of the College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. “He has always been willing to adapt to the various needs of the forest products sector.”

(Written by Jamie Anderson)

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