Sowing Seeds For The Ag Industry

Despite slow growth predictions, the agriculture industry is seeing new technologies move agribusiness forward.

MISSISSIPPI’S FORESTRY ROOTS BOLSTER ECONOMY

Mississippi’s abundant natural resources attract industry leaders, driving innovations and development in the timber-rich state.

Forestry is a cornerstone of Mississippi’s agriculture industry, providing thousands of jobs and generating substantial new investments throughout the state. In fact, Mississippi is one of the leading timber-producing states in the U.S. thanks to its abundant natural resources, knowledgeable workforce, and strategic management practices.

In recent years, the sector has welcomed new advancements that promise to build upon the state’s rich forestry heritage. Some of the industry’s top names have invested significantly to produce high-quality products in the state—from plywood panels to wood pellets for the energy sector.

Agribusiness
Tyson Foods recently invested significantly in its Forest and Vicksburg operations in Mississippi. (Photo: Adobe Stock/Monticellllo)

 

Mississippi’s forestry sector supports nearly 70,000 jobs and generates more than $12 billion in economic output annually—and for good reason. With more than 19.2 million acres of timberland producing more than 130 different species of trees, companies have access to a robust and sustainable supply of wood products. This year alone, two industry leaders announced plans to invest a total of nearly $535 million in new Mississippi operations that will create a total of more than 420 jobs.

In May, Hood Industries announced it will build a state-of-the-art laminated plywood panel manufacturing facility in Beaumont, MS. The company is investing $216.5 million and creating 265 jobs to support the operations. Hood Industries is a Mississippi-based company that merges wood manufacturing and distribution operations, which consist of one plywood manufacturing plant; four lumber manufacturing plants; and 15 specialty wood products distribution operations across 14 states.

In June, Huber Engineered Woods, a leading specialty building products manufacturer, said it would locate a high-tech oriented strand board manufacturing plant in Shuqualak, MS, a $418 million investment that is creating 158 jobs.

Equally as exciting as industry announcements is the growing interest in bioenergy. Wood biomass producer Enviva, which operates several wood pellet production plants in the state, selected Mississippi for its plentiful and growing wood fiber baskets. Specializing in sustainable wood bioenergy, Enviva is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets, providing a low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels.

Mississippi timber industry
Mississippi’s forestry sector supports nearly 70,000 jobs and generates more than $12 billion in economic output annually. (Photo: Mississippi Development Authority)

 

Increasing in popularity, wood pellets not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but create additional markets for forest products. Mississippi’s timber resources make it an ideal location for biomass production companies that have a positive impact on the economy and environment.

Mississippi’s vibrant forestry industry is a testament to the state’s commitment to responsible resource management, environmental sustainability, and economic growth, not to mention its generous supply of natural resources. With recent announcements focusing on sustainability, bioenergy, and innovative products, among others, the future of this crucial sector looks brighter than ever in the Magnolia State.

As the industry continues to evolve and adapt to changing demands and environ mental concerns, it will remain a foundation of the state’s economy and a model for sustainable forestry practices nationwide.

Visit mississippi.org for more information.

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