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MAY 2022

Cover: New Owners Bring Vicksburg Mill Back To Life

VICKSBURG, Mississippi – There is a reason, or several of them, not many mills convert from cutting hardwood to cutting southern yellow pine—but that’s exactly what Vicksburg Forest Products (VFP) did when it purchased the Anderson-Tully hardwood lumber mill in Vicksburg in 2018.

Inside This Issue

THE ISSUES: How’s Your Log Supply Chain?

In between looking for extra employees to fill out another shift or solidify the one or two already in place, or perhaps looking for larger vaults to hold the cash they’ve been putting away thanks to record lumber prices, lumber suppliers would be smart to take a look at the health of the supply chain feeding their mills.

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Article by Dan Shell, Senior Editor, Timber Processing

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New Owners Bring Vicksburg Mill Back To Life

Article by Jessica Johnson, Senior Associate Editor, Timber Processing

VICKSBURG, Mississippi – There is a reason, or several of them, not many mills convert from cutting hardwood to cutting southern yellow pine—but that’s exactly what Vicksburg Forest Products (VFP) did when it purchased the Anderson-Tully hardwood lumber mill in Vicksburg in 2018. Tommy Stansell, a part owner in VFP and part of the forest products entity in Mississippi that owns and operates Southeastern Timber Products in Ackerman and Claw Forestry, agrees there’s a lot to be said for not going through the arduous conversion task, but he and his partners knew the wood basket and loved the site. In fact Claw Forestry is well known for its timberland holdings, management and investment skills in these neck of the woods.

“We believed in the fundamentals,” Stansell emphasizes.

In 2019, Stansell and the VFP crew had the mill operational on pine, still with some hardwood capability if needed. It had some hiccups, but it presented the opportunities for growth and improvement. It also presented Stansell and the Board their shopping list. Up first? A new planer mill to replace the existing one, which was a little unusual in that it even had one. Somewhat simultaneously, Stansell brought on veteran mill manager, Larry Barrett, to lead the charge.

Stansell recalls, “I basically had to sell him on this idea that, hey look, I know it is not that great right now, but we’re about to make a significant capital investment into the operation. He had material impact on the operations. When it started running better, we were feeling way more confident about investing in the facility.”

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