Forest Products Success Stories
his father, who bought stave bolts for a stave mill in Jackson.
K&P Timber Company produced railroad ties and construction lumber with a portable sawmill until 1944, when the company established a permanent mill on the present site in Frohna, a small town in eastern Perry County. The East Perry Lumber Company has grown into one of the largest hardwood lumber manufacturers in the Midwest under the ownership of the Petzoldt family.
East Perry is well known for its high quality hardwood lumber, and they have also maintained close ties with customers in Europe and other regions of the world for many years. They added dry kilns to their processing capabilities in 1962, and in the early 1970s they pioneered the use of waste products into such products as cattle feed, fuel pellets, lab litter for research animals, horticultural mulch and chips for paper production.
Tommy's two sons worked in the business as they were growing up and now form the management team. Marvin Petzoldt currently serves as president and is primarily responsible for timberland management and resource procurement. Stan Petzoldt is chairman of the board and has responsibility for sales, mill production and inventory. Both are hands-on managers who deal directly with employees and production decisions daily.
Stan Petzoldt of East Perry Lumber company credits some of his company's success to a good business climate in Missouri. He also says the state produces some of the finest oak available anywhere. "Hard work, hiring good workers and treating them fairly - that's a big factor," Petzoldt says. "It's important to stay focused," he adds. "We do what we do best - selling hardwood lumber - and we try to do it better all of the time."
East Perry has 80 full-time and 20 part-time employees who produce about 12 million board feet of hardwood lumber each year. Their economic impact in Perry County is significant. They sponsor many community events, such as ball teams and fund raising for local volunteer fire departments. Classes from four different universities are invited to study the company's forest management practices, wood processing technology and issues facing the industry.
Most of the logs processed by the company are harvested from privately owned land, so the logging crews use techniques and equipment that minimize impact on each site. For example, following harvesting, they build erosion control structures wherever they are needed, and both skid trails and log decks are seeded with permanent