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Interview with Robert Jordan, July 25, 2002 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Title:
Interview with Robert Jordan, July 25, 2002
Date:
July 25, 2002
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Interviewee:  Jordan, Robert Interviewer:  Warren, Harry Date of Interview:  7/25/2002 Series:  Southeast North Carolina (SENC) Length

 

Warren: Okay Bob, we’re recording now. I’m Harry Warren and interviewing Robert Jordan.

Warren: Let’s just get some basic stuff down. Could you give me your name and date and place of birth and how many years you’ve lived in North Carolina?

Jordan: Okay, well my name is Robert B. Jordan III. Most people call me Bob. I was born October 11, 1932. I was born in a house in Mt. Gilead, about a half a mile from where I live today.

Warren: So you’re a lifelong resident of North Carolina?

Jordan: Yes, except for two years in Europe in service and four years in Raleigh as Lieutenant Governor, my residence has been in Mount Gilead.

Warren: Well when did you begin your career in forestry?

Jordan: Well I guess I used to drive a tractor pulling lumber cart up to the trim saw when I was about 12 years old I guess. Really my official career became after I went to NC State and graduated in forestry, with a B.S. in lumber merchandising and manufacturing I believe they called it at the time. I finished there in 1954.

A couple years in service and came back in January of ’57, taking kind of a mill manager’s job. The mill manager had gotten a job at the post office at that time.

So I came back, they started the company in ’39 and I came back in ’57 and have been here ever since.

Warren: On all of those jobs that you had in forestry, they were all working with lumber, all working with your father?

Jordan: Yes, primarily Jordan Lumber has been the primary company. Along the way, we’ve been involved in other companies that we were part owner of or purchased under Jordan Lumber. My job has primarily been with Jordan Lumber. My dad started the business in ’39 as I said. It was kind of a trucking business to start with and he was hauling lumber to Baltimore, and went from there to getting somebody to come in to get a planing mill up in Mount Gilead.

Then after that, he built his own planing mill and had a concentration yard for a lot of years and really didn't get into the sawmilling business until the early 1960’s. Then we had a permanent sawmill.

Warren: So in 1939 he was really doing more transportation it sounds like?

Jordan: Well he had a trucking…yes, that’s where it started. It started with a couple of trucks hauling to Baltimore, Maryland. Hauling grain back, he was buying lumber to haul it up and from that, he got into the planing mill business and an air dried concentration yard. I guess when I came back in 1957, we still were small. My dad also had a cotton ginning business at the same time in the early years.

So the lumber business it took to 13 employees in the summer time and ran the lumber business in the fall of the year, he ran the cotton gin. So in 1957, it still was in that mode. My first year in ’57, we did 3 million feet in production and had 13 employees that worked in the cotton gin in the fall as I said.

Warren: So you really became a full-fledged lumber producer in 1957 and before that…

Jordan: Well I think you could call them actually back in the early 40’s, they were a lumber producer. Of course an air dry mill and a lot of the lumber was shipped green during those early years. It was always a pine operation, always southern pine. We really didn't start growing I guess until I came back in ’57. My brother Jack came back in ’66, ’65-’66, and of course son Robert came back in 1984. So there were spurts of growth tied to other people coming and getting involved.

Warren: We’ll get back to that in a second, but going back with your dad another minute or two, is he from Mount Gilead also?

Jordan: Dad was raised in Mount Gilead. He was born in Moultrie, Georgia. His mother was from Mount Gilead and she contracted TB and moved back here and died when he was six. The family that raised his mother, an older couple that didn't have their own children, they were aunt and uncle to my grandmother, then raised my father. So from age six on, he lived in Mount Gilead and lived here until he died in 1978.

Warren: Now when he started the business as really kind of a trucking business, was that a one man operation? Did he have his, you know, one of these fellows that has his own 18-wheeler and then from that to that’s what we have now?

Jordan: He never drove the truck, never actually drove the truck. He had a service station that he was running and a couple of trucks and he bought the trucks and hired the drivers to drive the truck. He’s always been involved in several things, full bit in the bank and a little bit in the brick company that was here.

The person who raised him was a horse trainer I guess you’d call him, raised hogs and stuff and bought a little land and so forth, but lost most of it during the Depression in the early 30’s. So dad was involved in some of those things, but more or less started off hiring someone to drive the trucks. Mother was always involved in the business. She kept the books until she was 75 years old. She died in 1989. I guess you might call it… it was a family business.

Warren: Right. Now you mentioned you have a brother?

Jordan: I have a brother Jack who’s with me in business today and a son Robert and Jack has a son named Jay who’s also with us. So there are four of us.

Warren: And looking forward to continuing the line.

Jordan: We think we have it set up where we can make it one more generation (laughter). It was tougher. I have two daughters and one son. The son’s here and the daughters are in other parts of North Carolina. We have eight grandchildren. Jack has two sons and some grandchildren so you start putting them all together, it’s going to get tough on down the road.

We tried to promote the family business. One thing we definitely done is said, okay, if you work here in the family business, what you get paid is based on what you do. We think that’s the only successful way. It’s not a business that we try to let the family live out of. One of the basic reasons looking back for our growth and success is that whatever we made, we put it back into the business.

In 1959, we incorporated as a C-corporation so over the years we’ve certainly made a good living out of it, but at the same time everything we’ve made has been put back in and with the good graces of people who have loaned us a lot of money, we’re here today.

Warren: And we’re glad that you’re here today. So your father began the business as Jordan Enterprises or Jordan Lumber?

Jordan: It started off, it was called R. B. Jordan Jr. That was dad’s name and it was a single proprietorship. It stayed that until we incorporated in 1959. At that point in time, it was named Jordan Lumber and Supply, Inc. and that’s the name we’ve kept until today. Now we have other companies that have been formed in and around that.

Like today there’s Jordan Timberlands and recently we had to buy some more property and set up a separate LLC for the Jordan Properties. But Jordan Lumber and Supply Inc., in the early days, we had a building supply business that was kind of in conjunction with that. Since I guess about 1960, we sold that business off.

Warren: Was that in Mt. Gilead also?

Jordan: That was in Mt. Gilead also.

Warren: Is that still in operation under another name?

Jordan: It is, someone else has it. It’s called Gilead Home Supply. One of the first who rented for us before we sold it, we actually sold it to him and he still operates that. Over the years we have, I guess the story is in 1957, there were five lumber plants in Montgomery County. We were the smallest. Of course we’re much larger today. We’re doing as much in a week today as we did a year when I started. We’re doing about $3M a week right now in pine production.

Warren: How many lumber plants are in Montgomery County today?

Jordan: Pine operations, just two. There’s Troy Lumber which is a sizeable operation. We’re about twice their size in production, but they’re still doing about 75 million feet a year. We’re doing about 150. There are other lumber plants, Cope Lumber Company over in New London is operating. It’s very competitive.

Warren: The total production though is much higher than it was.

Jordan: Oh yes.

Warren: What do you attribute that to? Good management practices?

Jordan: Actually I attribute a lot of it to the fact that we’re growing more trees. Now we aren’t sawing as large of trees as we used to, but we’re growing more trees in Montgomery County today than we did when I came back here in ’57.

Warren: I was going to get back to that. Did I understand that you weren’t really practicing management techniques until you got back from college in ‘57?

Jordan: Right. Well we owned zero land in 1967 10 years later. When we went to buy a tract and timber, if it was sold timber and all, the only way we could bid on it was to find someone else to buy the land and we’d buy the whole tract and we’d get the timber and they’d get the land. Then in 1967, we had enough capital to go out and borrow a little money so we began to buy some land.

We bought basically about 1000 acres a year for 35 years. That was kind of a goal. Some years you’d buy 2000, some years you’d buy none, some years you’d buy 400 and so forth. Along the way, we brought in a full time management forester and that forester has about three or four people working under him. Maybe getting a little ahead here, but basically our philosophy today, and we’re in the process of becoming certified under the SFI program, our philosophy today is we’re going to offer company land, we cut what we grow.

We grow about four tons per acre per year. We multiply that times the number of acres we’ve got in growth and at the end of the year our goal is to say, okay we cut this many tons this year and we’ve still got them.

Warren: Is your primary growth in pine?

Jordan: Our primary growth is pine. We’re part of the NC State, one of the management consortiums where we do work on experimenting and we also fertilize trees at different ages depending on what circumstances are. We try to do a good job of managing. We also have the small log mill today which we went to Finland and found what they were doing over there and bought the equipment, brought it here.

We’re actually producing over half our production a day out of the small logs which we sort to 10” increments and run them at very high speeds. We’re running as much as 10,000 logs a shift through the small logging mill. You sort it and you run it about like a planer. We design, sort and size the logs for the market. If the market says we need to cut this particular item, then we’ll change the log size and we’ll sort them out and get 4-5,000 logs in a particular row the same size.

Then we’ll change the machine over and run them like a planer so we actually are able to run 20-30 logs a minute through that…actually we run up to 500 ___ a minute through that machine. Then we take the larger logs and saw them in a historical band mill so we’ve got actually two mills. They each produce somewhere around half the production of each. A big mill is probably around a little under half now. We’re probably 40% of the logs sawed in the big mill and 60% of the lumber comes out of the little mill.

Warren: My board president, Butch Blanchard, when I told him I was coming up here to interview you, he said to be sure to ask you about that mill…what he’s heard through the grapevine is that you can take a tree that’s shaped like an S and make straight lumber out of it. Is that what you’re talking about here or is that true?

Jordan: Well part of the process in addition to the small logging mill is we have a merchandiser which has laser scanners in it and it’s got computer power 40,000 calculations a second and we just put it in about five years ago and we’ve already had to upgrade the computers. What we’re doing is we’re cutting about 4,000 trees, stems, a shift which is about 10 hours, into logs. That’s all done automatically with saws and they turn around and it decides how to straighten the tree up a little bit I guess you’d say.

Then the machine itself, the small logging machine will saw, it’ll saw a sweep and straighten the lumber out. We have a log turner that turns the log in such a way that it saws it with the grain and as long as the sweep is not more than and inch and a half and 12 feet, we saw with the grain. Once we get the lumber out there, we then dry it. The way we dry it, we dry it a lot slower than we did historically because we found that this younger fiber reacts differently to drying.

Where we used to dry 2x4’s in about 21 hours, we now take up to 60 hours, but we’ve learned how to do it, how to keep it straight, how to recondition it just like you would finished lumber. We’re fixing to build another large dry kiln because we’ve slowed down…we’ve increased the number of hours to dry, so it takes more dry kill space, not more boilers, but more dry kill space.

The small log mill has revolutionized what we do. Fully 40% of all the wood comes out of the finning at 15 years of age, 16 years of age. We make lumber out of it now where it used to all go into pulpwood. We’d like to thin a little later at about age 18, but working 30 year cycles even down to 28 year cycles. We wouldn’t be in business today if it weren’t for that small log mill giving us the ability to furnish the wood that we need to…we couldn’t saw 3 million feet a week without being able to get a lot of it out of just thinnings.

Warren: Wood that normally, that in the past would go to chips.

Jordan: Went to chips, we saw down to a top that makes one 2x4. We go down to 4” on the top. We like to get it a little longer than 8 foot, say anything to make a 2x4 10 feet long or longer, we sort for that. Now if it’ll make something bigger than that, then that next saw as you go up the tree will probably be two 2x4’s. Then it will be maybe three 2x4’s or two 2x4’s and a 2x6.

Then we work decking into the same, you know, as we step up the ladder, we sort like I say in tenth inch increments so each sort may only vary about 4/10 of an inch from one sort to another. Just whatever it takes…we try to saw square inch lumber out of all of it because in today’s market, appearance of lumber is just as important as grade. That’s a different world too. It’s hard to get the same yields you used to get because you don’t leave wane on the lumber anymore.

Warren: The lumber industry has changed a lot since your father when into it in 1939. Obviously this new technology that lets you to do that is part of this change. What are some other major changes technology wise or personnel wise? Your father started off basically himself, your mother and a couple of guys driving trucks. How many men, or how many people I should say do you have now?

Jordan: Right now we’re working just a little under 300 people at this site.

Warren: Is that an 8-hour day?

Jordan: No, right now we’re running, the planing mill runs three shifts, we actually have two planing mills. We’re trying to get a new planing system we put in a year ago. We’re having some difficulties with it. We’re trying to get it to work, but basically we’re running at that mill three shifts. The small log mill is running two shifts, soon to go to three. The large mill is working 50 hours a week to do what we need.

Hours are really dictated by the size of the logs that come in. At 50 hours a week, we can saw most of the large logs we’re going to get and then the small logs are better sawed at the other mill as well. The big mill sawed about nine logs a minute, the little mill saws 20-30-40 logs a minute. So you just couldn’t put that small log into the big mill.

But the question you asked, the technology has been one of the major things and staying up with technology has given us the advantage to grow and to survive. From the time a tree comes in to the time a piece of lumber goes out to just after it’s stressed through the planer, that piece of wood is looked at least five times by scanners. Each time it’s looked at for dollar value. In other words, we’re looking for board foot, but the real bottom line is that decision is made on what will produce the most dollars out of that tree, what will produce the most dollars out of that log then.

Then what will produce the most dollars out of that piece of wood that needs to be edged, should it be edged to 2x6, to 2x4, should it be 2x4 16 feet long or 2x6 14 feet long. All those decisions are made by the scanners.

Warren: The scanners are telling you what to do with that piece of wood.

Jordan: That’s right, that’s right. We now have a planing system now, a sorting system behind the planer that will do 140 pieces of lumber a minute and it takes that to keep up. As we’ve grown in volume, we’ve also grown tremendously in number of pieces of lumber because that volume has gone up the same time the size of the lumber has gone down.

So where we were 25% 2x4’s, we’re now, small pieces of lumber, we’re now 50% small pieces of lumber which creates a challenge. If you didn't have automation, high speed equipment that you have today, high speed stackers, the whole world of southern pine has changed because a big percentage of it goes to treating now. A big percentage goes to the big boxes and they want more short lumber. They want packages treated, packages a certain size to they fit right into the cylinders.

So where we used to pack 240 pieces of 2x4’s to a pack, we now pack in some cases 90. So you’re running more pieces of lumber. You’ve got to have faster package capability. They don’t want steel strapping. They want plastic strapping. You’re getting closer and closer to what the customer ends up getting than you used to.

Warren: What leaves here?

Jordan: What leaves here just about has to be what it’s going to end up to being on the loading dock or actually in the store, you know, in the same package in the store. And in such a manner that they decide they want it in in order to merchandise it. While we’re not any closer to retail business, we’re doing a lot of the work here at the plant today that used to be done between us and where the person bought it. You know, repackaging and treating plants, or repackaging and putting up into the bins where the lumber is sold or delivered in different ways to the builder itself.

Warren: Now all the scanning to analyze the wood today, was that done by, in the old days, was there something like that done by fellows that just kind of knew what you could get out of a piece of wood or is this just suddenly new technology?

Jordan: Well I guess when I came back in ’57, there were no stationery mills in the county. All the mills are what we called peckerwood mills, inwood mills. The average production of a mill then was 8,000 foot a day, 1,000 foot an hour.

Warren: That was called peckerwood mill?

Jordan: Yeah Peckerwood mills, that’s kind of came up from Georgia and Alabama, but they called them peckerwood mills. What that was it was an all ______(frick) sawmill with a diesel engine pulling it, pulled the belt shaft and that belt also ran an edger, which is sitting out there. So they went into the woods, cut the trees down. They cut them up where they fell right there and then they backed over them with log carts. They had mules to put them in little piles, backed over them with log carts, put a strap under it, picked up the logs, carried them and actually drove over the skid poles that went to the sawmill and dropped those logs.

Then someone would roll those logs by hand up to the carriage. There would be a sawer and usually there’d be somebody turning logs by hand. In later years, you had your automatic turners. But in a week’s time if the sawmill got 40,000 board foot a week and they probably had 12 people was a good number, when you looked at the people that cut trees down, cut them up and ran the tractors, who ran the edgers, who did the off-bearing of the lumber, who carried the slabs off and piled them in a pile out in the woods and if you drove the truck into town to the lumber yard and then took that truck and distributed the lumber.

So you can imagine to do what we have today, if we’re doing three million feet a week, it would take 75 sawmills to do what we do right here in this one yard. And if you took 75 times 12, that would be close to 1,000 people to do what we do. We carry it much further. We dry kill everything, the chips and byproducts and stuff are almost a business themselves.

From my standpoint, this went on to the early 60’s. We started off with one ground mill that someone owned and we found some timber and they’d bring it in and maybe we got up to 7-8 ground mills, hauling into the yard. But in the early 60’s, we came to this site where we are today. I built a slab chip mill here in 1957 so we could go out in the woods, get the sawmills put in log debarkers and we’d get them to bring the slabs in and we’d chip them up, put them in a boxcar and send them 230 miles down the road to North Carolina Pulp which today is a warehouse.

There’s been an evolution. Then I guess when we got to where we started mechanizing, when we put the stationery mill, then we started looking at ways of making it easier on the logger. When the stationery mill first came in, they brought short logs in and of course some still do. Then we figured out it’s easier if we could bring a tree length log in, we could get more accurate cutting of the logs by cutting them up here at the mill.

So we built log decks and things and that actually made it easier on the logger in one sense. That probably happened in the late 60’s and so then we’d bring them and cut them up here. Once you did that, you got into a position where you could start to use some of this technology, looking at the stem, how to cut it up and how to set the machinery back then. But it’s just been an evolutionary process.

It changes almost monthly still because computers get faster. You know, when you think about the world we’re in today, genomics, mapping the human gene, mapping the southern pine to genetic structure, the big breakthrough in the last few years hasn’t necessarily been in knowing anymore about genes than we knew, it’s just that we can compute so much. We can do studies and do things in 24 hours now that used to take three years to do just because of the tremendous computer capability we have.

That’s the same way in the lumber business itself. The speed of computers continues to give us options as to how to do more accurate measurement and do things faster and more accurately.

Warren: Genomic revolution has great potential for the forest industry, doesn’t it? I’ve heard that international, you might also be experimenting with longleaf pines trying to get faster growing…

Jordan: We’re using some of those, I call it containerized ceilings. We’ve planted down in some sand tracks we have, we planted some longleaf. I was down there a few weeks ago, 8 feet tall, 3-1/2 years. It’s amazing.

Warren: No kidding.

Jordan: Yeah, in sand.

Warren: Well they do like sand (laughter). You were born in 1932 so you were seven years old when your dad starting pulling this company together so you really kind of grew up with the company. What was it like growing up around all these loggers and this forest industry? Was there a certain camaraderie amongst the people that were in the business. I know down in southeastern North Carolina, there used to be an unofficial club called the Bush and Bog club around Lake Waccamaw. Was there anything similar to that or what was the culture like growing up in a forest family?

Jordan: Well you know, being a kid and being around a lot of machinery was always exciting. You could drive the tractor or you could drive the truck. I’d go off with some of the truck drivers now and then. When I was 15, I remember riding down with a truck driver. He let me drive, after we got out of town, he’d let me drive the truck you know. I remember going across the ferry at Holden Beach where they have a couple of bridges since then I guess, delivering a load of lumber over there.

The people were good people, working around them, you know, friendly. I guess just loving the action that was there, the things that a kid could get involved with themselves. Of course we had a cotton gin too at the same time so that was exciting too. And then I guess as I grew up and went through school, I saw some things changing in that world and wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do.

I was really torn between forestry and business and NC State had this course called lumber merchandising and manufacturing which gave me a little of both. Industrial engineering was part of it. Plywood mills were coming in about this same time. It just seemed to me that other things I had some involvement with, this looked like a good opportunity.

I really wasn’t certain, had a chance to become an assistant dean of students at NC State when I came back from service. I had been involved in politics at NC State. I think at that time the idea of the slab chip mill just is what…I needed to figure out some way we could grow the company and went down and talked to some people at North Carolina Pulp and somebody down at _____ Marina had put in this machine that would take the bark off of slabs. So you know, that kind of said here’s where I can get started and maybe add some value to what’s there already. I’m not sure I really ever thought about doing anything else.

Warren: You mentioned you had reservations at some point.

Jordan: At that time in 1957…

Warren: You didn't, but prior to that you said you’d seen some changes in the industry and you were kind of torn between doing this and … what were the changes that made you ambivalent for a moment?

Jordan: Well it was hard to make a profit, you know. In the business we were in, you bought lumber on a 7 quarter count and sold it on a 2 inch count, 2x6’s and if it was cut thick enough, you could make some 1x6’s out of it, but I remember paying $58 for green lumber coming in to the yard and selling that lumber for $62. Well it wouldn’t be possible except you’ve got an uptake on your count.

If we hadn’t had that second ____, you just couldn’t do it. You couldn’t stack the lumber dry, dress it, you know, and ship it with those kind of numbers. So it was, you know, if you made a dollar a thousand, two dollars a thousand at the end of the year, you’re doing pretty good.

Warren: Two dollars a thousand?

Jordan: Two dollars a thousand board foot profit at the end of the year.

Warren: That’s not a lot of profit.

Jordan: We incorporated in 1959 for $60,000, that was the value of everything we had.

Warren: Did your father love the industry or love the business?

Jordan: Yes, he grew up in it. When I got back, of course as I said, he was involved in other things. He was the county commissioner for 28 years, and he took it very seriously. He spent a lot of time in public type work. Not to belittle anything he was doing in the lumber business, but he gave me space and I was able to have some ideas. I did some things that were right and did some things that were wrong.

I can attest to the fact that you learn from your mistakes faster than you learn from your successes (laughter). We had a situation where we could grow.

Warren: I don’t remember whether we got on the record your father’s name and your mother’s name.

Jordan: Dad’s name was R. B. Jordan Jr. and I’m the third and then I have a son in the business who’s the fourth. He didn't carry it further (laughter). It got to be too much of a joke. Dad went by the name of R. B. When I was a kid, I was Bobby and Bob now and my son Robert is Robert so we were able to distinguish between the...

Warren: Your father went by the initials R. B.?

Jordan: Yeah, he was called R.B. as a child.

Warren: My father was R.B. Warren and he hated his middle name. The B stood for Boise. He was supposedly named after a farmhand from Boise, Idaho. And he hated that and the only people that ever called him Boise were his sisters (laughter). R.B. always seemed to fit. Some initials fit.

Jordan: That’s right.

Warren: I’m sure between growing up in it and your own experience being in it, you run into a lot of interesting people. I found that there are a lot of very independent, unique individuals in the forest industry. Anybody that comes to mind?

Jordan: There are. Well I guess in this area when I was came here, there was a guy by the name of Vernon Hogan. Vernon Hogan later sold a lumber plant out in Norman what was then Regal Paper and then Regal got bought by Federal Paper and Mr. Hogan was the vice-president of Regal and of Federal. They were the big operation. They had 25-26 sawmills going on. They were big landowners and so forth.

Then of course there were a lot of lumber plants around, but personalities there was a fellow named Fred Taylor. Fred’s son, Fred Jr. runs Troy Lumber today. Mr. Fred started a lot of furniture businesses in Troy. He had Taylor Lumber in Lewisburg. Then I was in business with a fellow named Jimmy Allen. Mr. Jim Allen, he was part owner of Troy Lumber Sales which had bought Troy Lumber Company out. Mr. Hogan decided he wanted to sell the lumber company and Mr. Jimmy was a friend of his, asked Mr. Jimmy to buy it. Mr. Allen said he would buy it if Bob will come with him. So we ended up being part owners.

Mr. Jimmy was a guy who had been around the business from day one and had a lot of stories to tell with a big history in the wood industry. Henry _____ of New London, Henry is still alive. Henry always ran one of the best mills. Whatever he did, he did it right. I accuse him of never having to borrow any money (laughter) so he could afford to do it right.

I guess along the way in the Whiteville area, _____ Sledge sold out to GP years ago. Mr. Sledge used to come by a lot after he sold out. I knew him before then. Getting involved with the lumber association, Southeastern Lumber Mfg Association, which I was president of in ’71 and my brother Jack in ’76, you meet people from all over the country. Then we had one organization called the National Association of Independent Lumbermen that really was a lobbying group made up of three associations, people from the west coast and here.

We went to Washington to lobby for small businesses. All the government timber was sold to a large business so we got them to agree. They went back and did some historical numbers and they set aside a certain amount of the national forest back then and we had a national forest here. Some of the characters from out west were unbelievable. They tell stories about driving down a logging road one night and this big fancy car ran off into the river and almost drowned his wife. Entrepreneurs early on, they just had to be. You had to be, and tough to be in this business.

Warren: It seems to me like they were a work hard, play hard kind of people.

Jordan: That’s an accurate assessment, yeah. And then in the last 20 years what I’ve seen even out west and here, they become the _____child or someone who’s trained on somebody else and they’ve become more technically oriented. The people you have to have today to run this equipment are totally different. They don’t pick up a piece of lumber anymore.

They have to understand lasers, they have to understand scanners. They have to understand computers. They have to understand high speed machinery. All these things that 80% of the work force before would not be qualified to run the machines that we have today without further training. That’s not to say that they couldn’t have been qualified. I’m saying they didn't have the need to be qualified. It was more just doing what you naturally could do whether it was pulling crosscut saw and later running a power saw.

You go out into the woods today with logging crews, I don’t know how many we have now, but what I’ve done recently is go out and visit each logging crew. The surprising thing is you go out in the woods with three people. There’s one person on the machine cutting the tree down and they’re in the cab, it’s air-conditioned. It also gathers and puts it together. Somebody operates the skidder and somebody operates the loader.

The loader operator actually doesn’t get on the ground to cut up the trees. They pull the tree out and they’ve got a machine that measures the tree and cuts it up in logs out there. It cuts it up into 5 inch top or 4 inch top or whatever it’s going to and then that same loader operator that piles the trees up loads the truck. So we have any number of logging crews have five people and one of them, and the guy that runs it is usually the truck driver. So you’ve got two truck drivers, you know, if they’re reasonably close, two trucks can keep them moving. They can get 40 loads a week, 40 loads of logs a week.

Warren: With a crew of five.

Jordan: With a crew of five. Now that let’s say 5,000 feet to the load, 40 loads, 200,000 feet a week with five people. That’s five times as much as the sawmill used to get with 12 people. So 12 people times 5 is 60 and then add to it five.

Warren: Now the old sawmill, 50 years ago if you went out and visited the logging crew, would you have visited a logging crew or would you have visited a sawmill that’s located in the woods?

Jordan: You visit the sawmill and the smaller mills would move 100 thousand more feet board feet which is 2-1/2 to 3 weeks. They’d like to move longer than that. Usually I’d say the average move was 5-6 weeks and then they’d move to another location. Each time they’d have to dig a place and move everything. It was a major thing. Good ones could move in a couple of days.

Warren: The entire sawmill? Pick it up and move it on…

Jordan: The entire sawmill, move the whole sawmill in a couple of days.

Warren: By the time your father had started the company, had the logging, little locomotives and trams, had that pretty much played out to 18-wheelers?

Jordan: Yeah. That had played out. In fact, in here yesterday I was talking to a person who was 90 years old and used to run a sawmill. His son is a logger today. A lot of the loggers today are descendants of the people that ran the sawmills.

Warren: Who was this man?

Jordan: This was Frank Byrd. He still lives here. I sat him down to talk about the old tram railroads, where it came from and where its going Frank. I’m trying to put together, I’ve got a guy writing something about my life and I’m trying to also, which ties right into what you’re doing here and I’ll be glad to share some of this with you, I’m trying to put out the history of this area in logging.

The old tram railroads, the lumber companies, that used to be here. Taft Lumber Company was here at the turn of the century and along came Snow Lumber Company, then I think it was National Lumber Company and then Snow Lumber Company and _______ Lumber Company and they were all downtown Mt. Gilead. Of course later on we bought ______ Lumber Company and ran it for a while and closed it down. Over the years, we’ve grown here, but along the way we bought other mills. We bought a company called Rocky River Lumber Company and it had a sawmill in _____, South Carolina and a planing mill in Oakboro. We ran those and then as they became inefficient, then we were able to handle the wood that they were getting and bring it to here.

We bought _______ Lumber Company out. That was one of the first purchases downtown. That was our big competitor. The family phased out and they wanted out and I guess we were getting bigger than they were at the time so we bought them out. Then we bought Sinclair Lumber Company out in Laurenburg. We ran it for a while. We didn't buy the sawmill, we bought the planing mill. We actually ended up closing that down and selling it.

Over the years, we moved from…basically we were logging within 25 miles. Now we go 100 miles. We have a forester that lives in Hartsville, South Carolina, Sanford, Denton. We really cover…80 miles is probably a more realistic figure. We go out now and then 100 miles. A lot of that was made possible because lumber values went up. Logging became, trucking became, hauling logs became a smaller part of the whole. It just go where you could go further to get the logs.

Equipment was more sophisticated. Loggers were more willing to haul longer distances and things. It just takes more trucks.

Warren: Have you all been part of any of the post-hurricane salvage operations like when Hugo came through South Carolina in ’89.

Jordan: Hugo came through, we weren’t…the real heavy stuff was further south of us because it came and went further to the west. Went through Charlotte, Hugo. But we had the biggest snowstorm we ever had January of 2000 here, about 25 inches. A lot of damage, but those salvage operations tended to be more plantations through here because it didn't bother the larger trees as much.

What we had was a rain and ice storm right before a snowstorm. The snow came down, you know, built up on top so you had plantations just laid the whole thing over. A lot of damage there, but most of it has been salvaged. You’ll be able to see some of it 30 years from now. When you go through the woods, you’ll find some pockets. We’re still finding pockets of areas where people didn't realize the wood was damaged.

Warren: People don’t realize how much forest is still out there. People only see the malls that are directly around them and think it’s all gone.

Jordan: Our goal here is and what I testify before different groups, so forth, we can grow the trees we need on the land we’re now growing trees on. If they try to stop us from growing pine trees and there’s some people out there that say you’ve got uniculture here, but with the technology we’ve got today and the things that go on, we can grow the trees if we need to grow to furnish the lumber we’re now furnishing for this area.

Warren: Are you totally self-sufficient? Or do you still buy?

Jordan: We still buy. I’d say, you know, somewhere between 30% and 40% is what we can furnish ourselves. But recognize that we haul a lot of wood that goes to pulp mills. In order to do these thinnings, we have to have markets for it. Now part of it, we have two chip mills, one in Starr, Cotton Creek chip Company ______ and then we have this big German plant that’s located next to us. They’re using a lot of pine chips. They’re using all that we can furnish here plus what we supplement from the chip mills and we will be buying some on the outside for them later.

So that provides markets, but we still need markets for round wood pulp wood. It takes more loggers. For example, if you put a logger in the woods and they do eight loads of logs and bring it in here where you’ve got a larger standard cutting, it’s one thing. You put them in the woods and they do eight loads of logs and half of it comes here, four of it goes to the chip mill or the paper mill, takes twice as many loggers.

So what we found is we’ve gotten more and more into thinning and purchased some land recently. What we found is it just takes more loggers. Luckily we have this big high density fiberboard mill next to us which provides a market for the small wood. Paper companies, there’s an oversupply of pulp wood today particularly when you have times like we’re having now, some bug damage coming up from the south. All of a sudden there’s more small wood that has to be cut.

We’ve seen actually fiber values go down. Partly I blame it on consolidation of the industry. There’s not as many companies out there so it’s a little less competitive than it was before partly because we’re growing a lot of trees. That probably will mean that somewhere along the way that some trees will not get thinned like they should and that’s bad in the one sense because the thinned stands tend to have less bug damage. The southern pine beetle doesn’t bother a thinned stand as quick as it does an unthinned stand because it goes in the attacks-suppressed trees first.

Anyway it’s all here. Our biggest problem today is markets and competition, Canadians, Europeans coming in today. The first six months, Europeans to the east coast of the United States brought in 200 and some million feet. The first six months this year, they brought in 500 million feet. They’re going…

Warren: And they’re selling it cheaper than we can produce it?

Jordan: They have the advantage of the currency exchange, not as much so right today as it was two months ago. Euro came out at $1.10, when down to .84 so that’s when they started shipping and they had about a 20% ride. So that more than paid for the freight to bring it over here. Their markets in Europe are not as good as they are now, have been. If they pick back up, then I think you’ll see more of that staying at home. But right now Finland, Sweden have one contortion called shipping in and Germany, Austria, East Germany, Poland, they have a consortium called Klausner and they’re shipping into the coast.

Of course you’ve got American companies, New South, and some of the others are actually buying that lumber and brokering it. It’s good wood. They make a good product. It’s competitive and what it does to us in effect is pushing the price of stumpage down. It’s also thinning out our ranks a little bit. There is overproduction in the industry, in the pine industry. When you look at all the other wood coming in from other places, about 20% overproduction. Something has to happen, something will give.

The problem you have is that the competitors run seven days a week, 24 hours a day so to keep the unit cost down. Same way in Canada and the same way in Europe. So we find that we have to become more and more like that. If we’re going to be competitive, to be able to sell lumber and still make a profit and pay reasonable prices, then we have to be very efficient. It means more and more hours.

Warren: I’ve heard a few people talk about Canada, the government subsidizing their lumber industry and that’s one of the reasons they’re able to sell it at such a good price. Has that been an issue?

Jordan: It’s a big issue. Basically you’re right on target. There are two issues, one we can argue, one we can’t. The exchange rate, that’s not Canada’s fault. But the Canadian dollar is around 63 cents so they get a 50% ride. They can sell something in Canadian dollars, American dollars and get 50% more in Canadian dollars so you look at it that way.

The other thing is over there what you basically have is you don’t have competition. Where we go to a timber sale and maybe seven different people bidding, maybe 15 people. There was a tract of timber that sold the other day, on 10 acres, it had 13 people bidding on it. It brought $7,000 an acre, big, beautiful timber. But you know, there’s a shortage of large timber on the marketplace. Small timber is available, but large timber is not.

What happens in Canada, except for the real northeastern section of Canada, most of the timber belongs to the Canadian government. So if you’re going to build a sawmill, you have to get a license to build a sawmill and then they will lease you a certain amount of land to cut timber off of. Their goal in Canada is to create jobs. When you go cut timber, what they’re interested in, they want you to bring all that wood off, pulp wood and all, and they want you to use…from their standpoint the more people you work, the better off the economy is.

Well they’ll lease it to you and establish prices for the stumpage which will allow you to make a profit. Whenever they figure out what the market is and everything, they’ll establish a price so that the mill can make a profit. Then what happens if the market goes down, they adjust the stumpage price down. If I buy a truck of timber from you and I’ve got two years to cut it and the market goes down six months after I buy it, I don’t think you’d give me the money back if I said I want part of my money back.

There again, non-competition for the product thereby creates cheap product to start with and then inflationary, an index that lowers it when the lumber prices go down, we can’t compete with that. They can break even today even with the 27% tariff. They can break even today on today’s market which most American mills are having trouble breaking even, they can break even at $225/1000 for the lumber in American dollars FOB their mill. Then add tariff to it and the freight to it and they’re on the market, and they’re still pumping out lumber.

Now they’re slowing down some. They’re our biggest competition as far as volume is concerned in millions of feet. Europeans, they’re a lot, but they’re not nearly as big as Canada. Europeans, the tariff is helping the Europeans come in. The exchange rates in Europe, the 90 cent Euro, 85 cent Euro, whatever it was, lack of business over there and the Canadian lumber having the tariff on it which forces the market up a little higher than it would have been otherwise, still very cheap lumber, allows the Europeans to come in. So we’re really, it’s really global competition is what it is.

Warren: Now when your father entered the lumber business in ’39, North Carolina has always been in the lumber business or in the forest. I mean it’s why we’re called Tarheels. It’s because the maple stores of course. Was there any room of the maple stores’ business left in the 30’s when you and your father came into it?

Jordan: Could have been, but probably not much in this area. Longleaf kind of stops at the sand hills which is about 20 miles east of us. There was longleaf there. That’s not something that’s part of my recollection. There’s a new book out, I just read something about…it may be fiction, but it’s talking something about…I can’t remember the name of it now either, but it’s talking about Robinson County and maple stores. I think maybe Scotland County, when you got over the edge of Richmond, probably some maple stores. Most of it was in Richmond to the east from the beginning because there wasn’t that much longleaf.

Warren: Right and then it just died out in the early part of the 20th century. I think it tried to make a quick revival in the 50’s for about a year. State government even tried to subsidize it. It didn’t go anywhere.

Well really there’s so much we could talk about as far as what you know about forestry and your father’s history with it and your family’s history. It seems like one of the things that may have been lost a little bit, there are probably more people in forestry now than there were 20 years ago, just doing a lot of different types of jobs. But with that said, do you feel like the forest community is as close as it used to be? It seems like there used to be many more personal relationships and I mentioned the Bush and Bog Club to you. There seemed to have been a real camaraderie. Do you think maybe some of that has been lost with the advent all the technology?

Jordan: I’m not sure it’s just the industry itself. I think it’s society in general. Everybody’s busy. I guess in the families, the wife’s working so when the person works in the industry, they’ve got to go home, you know. Or you’re working around the clock, three shifts so that some of them don’t know each other. You’ve got one shift here, one shift there and it’s busy. I think it has more to do with the changes in families themselves.

It tends to be, there’s still that relationship and particularly in the people, when you visit with other mills, other companies, there’s that strong fraternal bond there I think, but fewer of us. What I’m saying is there are fewer mills. While we may work as many people, they’re in one big group and they’re working multi-shifts. Before you had so many of these small sawmills. Different families.

There’s the Jordan lumber family and we have a picnic every year. By the time you put everybody and all the kids together, we have about 600 people come to the picnic. We have a great time and it’s a good tradition. But it’s not the small group camaraderie that you used to have.

Warren: It’s really just mostly society that has changed. How have the politics of forestry changed over…well go all the way back to your dad’s time.

Jordan: I think as the population has grown and as people come more and more sensitive and justifiably so about water quality and you know, Mt. Gilead hasn’t grown that much. In 1925, there were 1,100 people. In 2000, it was 1,300 people see. But you can look at Charlotte what’s happened there in that same period of time, Greenboro and Raleigh and all that. So with all that growth, the state’s population has tripled or maybe quadrupled since ’40, maybe five times.

So you’ve got more people here and you’ve got more people that are in the land, around the land, use the land, look to the land for recreational purposes and other purposes. That’s created another element of the society that says these trees ought to be used more and more for recreation. We need to be careful that the water quality is not disturbed and so forth. So when you get into the politics of it, we have the prologger programs today, best management practices.

There’s some people who would like to see us have to have a permit before we cut a tract of timber and we have to get the neighbor’s permission to cut that tract of timber. And of course we all know where that can go to eventually. It could mean that you really can’t go out and harvest trees anymore. So the politics of it are that we have to, as an industry, educate the public to what we’re doing.

When I first got involved in the legislature, the industry was working on an effort to try to grow more trees. I carried a bill called the Forestry Development Act which put a severance tax on timber. Of course I had a lot of difficulty getting other people in legislature to believe that I’d stand up and put a tax on myself. But we passed it and there are a couple of million acres of trees today that have been planted with that program where the industry itself sends money in for all the timber that they buy…the logs that come across their yard.

It goes into a kitty, helps the individual landowner reforest, pays from 40% to 60% of what it costs to reforestation. And that’s something the industry itself is doing and you know, that was politics I guess you’d say there, but that’s the kind of politics where you go out and say we’re willing to help promote and help the landowner to grow the things for our raw material. We’ll help pay to reseed the areas.

There are people that don’t want you to cut another tree. But I think we’re doing some things, I’m going to participate again in another program called Save our State. One of the things is how do we preserve the natural heritage, the natural resources that we have. I’m seeing responsible people come around to better understanding what we’re about and the recent study they had, the forestry study they had that really showed where most of the forest land and growth is leaving here is leaving here because of urban development, because of residential properties.

So I guess you say for the politics of it, it’s more demanding as far as we’re concerned in our industry to tell our story so that we can go about doing our job. But also we have to be involved in helping structure those rules and laws that we have to live by. An SFI for example, that comes about because of the politics of it. You have a group that goes to protest to the people who sell our products, that they wanted us to be sure the product is certified.

Now some of them may have ulterior motives, they really want to get back to where we don’t cut any trees at all, but in order to meet the standards and help to be responsible citizens ourselves, we have to get involved in the political I guess activity that surrounds our industry and the raw materials that we use to show that we’re responsible, to help set the laws up to see that our industry polices itself.

Warren: So it sounds to me, correct me, that the main change between say 1940 and the year 2002 is today you really have to consider political factors and different groups. In 1940, there wasn’t much in the way of doing politics.

Jordan: It really wasn’t an issue.

Warren: It was just an accepted industry.

Jordan: And I don’t think our industry was bad during that period of time or we’re bad today rather. If there’s been any change in the industry, this change has come about because of the change in population.

Warren: Let me ask you a couple more historical oriented questions. I know you probably have a lunch to get to. How would your father’s typical day compare to your typical day here at Jordan Lumber?

Jordan: Well first off he’d be busy all day.

Warren: (Laughter) He wouldn’t have time to do this interview.

Jordan: No, he would do that. No, he probably had less pressures than I have. People ask me how I keep my weight down and I tell them I worry a lot (laughter). As you do more things and your schedule gets tighter and tighter, you put more stuff in, he didn't try to do as many different things. Now that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t busy all the time. There was something that he was doing that was useful.

He’d probably at this moment compared to what I’m doing right now, he would not be so totally enmeshed in the business itself. It’s such a business today, so much going on, the pressures of meeting the competition, keeping the wood in, dealing with environmental pressures, dealing with the politics of it, dealing with weather, the bugs coming up, we didn't own much land back then. So there was a whole set of issues he didn't have to worry about, you know.

He didn't have near the debt that we have. One of the things I’ve always said, you know, as long as I can see the path, the way to pay off something, I can buy it if somebody loans me the money if I’m going in the right direction, I won’t worry about paying it back as long as my health is okay. It’s not exactly that way today because you have so much going on in the stock market, things like that.

The banks while they’re lenient, there are a lot more requirements today and guidelines. You’ve got to always keep your cushion out there so you don’t ever call the bank and say I can’t make my payment today. Getting back to the other, more laid back and that’s probably…the camaraderie you had in the old days.

Warren: You really have a family company now. I can sense that this is still very much a family company. I mean not just with your family, but with the employees. It was probably even tighter back in those days.

Jordan: It was, it was. And you know everybody depended on everybody else back then.

Warren: What’s the most dangerous aspect of forestry or working in a lumber mill or cutting down trees 50 years ago and what’s the most dangerous aspect today?

Jordan: Well it used to be in logwoods was people would continue to break legs and trees fall on them and that kind of thing. I think mechanization has really made a major, major difference as far as people getting hurt in logwoods today. In the mill itself, it’s equipment, you know, and of course we’re doing a better job of guarding all the equipment. Safety is a big, big issue. We have safety meetings once a week with all the managers.

It’s just the fact that you’re around high speed machinery. Safety lockouts are imperative now. Before you’d be on the sawmill or something, you wouldn’t cut the saw down if you wanted to work on it. You’d carry it even though it was next to the saw. Today in the environment, you cut that motor off, you cut that saw off. You’d have a switch in your pocket and nobody else could cut it back on until you got through working.

We’ve had injuries over the years. One of my top guys was running that small log mill for me and doing a tremendous job. In fact, we’re going to Finland together next week to look at some more new machinery over there. He lost two fingers when we did a major, major expansion back in 1983. We found out anytime you do change, put in new equipment, that was always the time while people were learning something new around something they hadn’t been around before, habit would make them do something and all of a sudden, they’d get hurt.

Frankly my father even lost his thumb in a machine, a pulley, one night back in the early 60’s I guess it was. That and a few other people that got hurt along the way, I remember them very clearly. As you can remember 9/11 happening, it’s very vivid in your mind what happened. Well each one of those accidents is very vivid in my mind. The people, you know, exactly how it happened and that was always the toughest part of it. I can remember saying if we don’t do better than we’re doing in some of these areas of keeping people from getting hurt, I’m in the wrong business.

Warren: Loss of life, somebody actually losing their life though was rare.

Jordan: Yes, yes. Very seldom. Now and then somebody will mess a knee up somehow. They’ll twist a knee, step off a stairs wrong or something, but it’s the kind of accident that could have happened at home.

Warren: What’s the major issue facing forestry today, Bob?

Jordan: Well recognizing we’re in a global economy. The major issue, there are several of them that kind of come at once, but competing in a global economy, substitute products which are changing our markets daily. Two by tens have a ceiling because of wood I-beams, 2x10’s usually bounce up to a high of about 550 about three years ago. This year they bounced up to 425 and sell for about 350 today which means a big tree is worth less from the standpoint of cutting wider lumber.

Wider lumber, 2x4’s bring as much as 2x8’s, more than 2x8’s. So it’s a different world. You know you buy big trees today to saw at the mill. If you’ve got some clears, high grade lumber you get out of it. But also big trees have big knots at the top so an average big trees don’t bring you that much more than small trees. But allowing a sawmill has to have a big tree to have high production. You can’t take these little logs and put them in.

Mostly, big timber brings today, unless they can go for export or somebody who does export, then that tree is really not worth much more, that 18-inch tree, 20-inch tree not worth much more than the 12 or 14 inch tree. So the challenge is to be able to deal with the raw materials as well, the small raw material. Shorter cycles, we’re going to find that most of the pine trees are sawed, unless the market disappears from us, going to be 30, 32, 28 years of age.

But now with genetics and the changes that are happening, that’s going to be a bigger, bigger tree. It will grow a little faster. The challenge is to deal with the change and the size of the raw material. The challenge is to deal with the global market. The challenge is to deal with getting a work force and it takes a lot of them because you have to have high production, you have to have multi-shifts, dealing with the work force, getting the work force that can handle your equipment.

Warren: Somebody told me that they think that one of the big challenges will be continuing to educate the public about what forestry is all about and getting people to understand that. Most of them will admit that that hasn’t been done very well. They’re starting to do it well now. Until recently it really hasn’t been done very well, getting the public to understand that you’re not just cutting down thousands of acres of forest and just leaving it for wasteland.

Jordan: I think the certification initiatives are going to help us in that we’re going to set up some guidelines. Clear cut is going to be smaller. You’re not going to clear cut adjacent to a clear cut until the tree is 5 feet tall, three years of age. Every logger is going to be a pro-logger, trained. They’re going to take care of the water. The best management zones set aside and stay back from the streams and all those kinds of things.

This is happening, but you’re right. The North Carolina forestry association is continuing to look at focusing more and more ways to get the word out. One of the topics at our SNMA convention in Charleston, South Carolina next week will be how does the association help us do a better job of advertising what’s going on. A teacher training program and a teacher summer program will be taking teachers out and having a training program with teachers.

There’s a program called, I’m not sure of the exact name, but Wood is Good is the theme of it, warehousers present, IP’s present and several others are helping to head it up. We belong to that and they have a national program to monitor what, I’d say the opposition is saying and responding to that. Put out materials that you can use for advertising. We really need to get on public radio too. What I’ve asked them to do with SNMA is come up with some bullets, short ads that we can use ourselves locally or for radio or talking points that we can use as we talk to groups or just like today in this interview that I could talk about.

I kind of missed that point, but I spoke about it earlier. That is a major challenge. We have to be good neighbors. We have to be good citizens. I think from a family business, one of the things that I recognize that’s so important is that, and the reason I want to stay a family business is that a family business tends to be more supportive of the neighborhood, what’s going on, local schools, things like that.

Wherever we are, whoever we are, whether we’re an IP or Jordan Lumber or Copland, or Troy Lumber whatever, we’ve got to participate and be supportive and have the right image in the community. That makes them feel good about us. We had several public hearings. We had one major one for this German plant coming next door. We had major opposition from dogwood alliance and other people.

They just didn't want this to happen because I guess, whatever the reason, we had no one from Montgomery County, in the whole county and we had a lot of people at the public hearing. We had nobody at that public hearing from Montgomery County that opposed it at all. They were 100% for it. They were supportive and thereby, these meetings were state held, you know, environmental this and environmental that, thereby they were able to get a permit without much trouble. But there were a lot of people that came from outside, college kids, dogwood alliance, but they were here in Mt Gilead complaining about this. Without that community support, it probably wouldn’t have happened.

But we had it because I think we did a good job of telling what the story is and the industry in this area has a good image.

Warren: One last question and that is let’s go back to 1957 when you came back to Mt. Gilead and we’ll give you the advantage of knowing exactly what was going to take place from 1957 to 2002, would you do it again?

Jordan: Oh yeah, yeah, ten times.

Warren: So it’s been very enjoyable and you would recommend this career?

Jordan: Yeah, one of the things we’re trying to do, I was on the Board of Governors years ago in the university system and my brother Jack was. We still work very closely with the School of Forestry. One of the things we’re trying to do is recognize in today’s education environment, SAT’s are so prevalent or paramount, a lot of times a person that wants to be a forester has trouble getting into North Carolina State Forestry School.

Warren: Because of the SAT’s?

Jordan: SAT scores you know, and so the forestry school has trouble getting some students. What we found, and the school is very interested in having national ranking, the average student is this and that, but they primarily look at this from what happens in August when they go to college. This class entering now has an average SAT score. In between time, they don’t have to have that like at the end of the first semester.

So what Jack is proposing is that we go and let the school find those students that don’t quite make it, but ought to be there, and let the industry say okay, we’ll provide jobs, get work experience that they might get credit for. We’ll provide jobs for two students a year, say here and IP does this, Warehouser does this, and they come and work with us one semester and they start in the second semester. That way you can provide for these kids to get in school that ought to be there anyway.

Warren: Excellent idea.

Jordan: That doesn’t say that our kids are not the ones that ought to be up there in college. It says that a lot of times because the small schools they come from, the environments they come from, they may not be the brightest kid on the block in SAT scores to get in college, but once they get to college, that’s another story.

Warren: Anything that you would like to add or any comment you’d like to make.

Jordan: I sense the industry is on a sound footing and while there are a lot of adjustments being made today in some mills closing down, some expanding, it’s been a major part of the state’s history to this point and it’s going to continue to be that. It’s going to change. We’re going to become more and more sophisticated as we have to. It’s going to be, still will be an industry that will attract the people who like the outdoors. We see the woods continue to be of multiple use.

Hunting clubs, we lease just about all of our land to hunting clubs and that becomes part of it. The things we do in the woods not only to keep the tree growing, to keep the wildlife going too at the same time. So there’s a real challenge, but it’s still a great opportunities here for innovate people particularly.

Warren: Again I certainly do appreciate everything, Bob. Thank you so much.

Jordan: Thank you.

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