Fayette, Missouri¡XIt is not often that a company has to prove just how much it can withstand, but in the case of Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co. Inc. President Jim Pescaglia was faced with several obstacles during the 1990s. His business flooded twice within two years, but he revived his mill, bigger and better than before.
After tremendous flooding in 1993, the company was almost wiped out, but Jim would not let a little water keep him from running the best business he could. Jim, along with his brother, Jerry, and his son Bucky both of whom serve as vice presidents, decided to move 10 miles to the north of the New Franklin, Missouri, location. They had been at the location since 1980, and had additional land to use for expansion, but wanted to move out of the Missouri River bottom, so relocating made sense. However, while they were in the process of building the new mill, another flood came through, causing more damage to the inventory of logs and lumber the company had.
¡§We worked 100 days straight,¡¨ said Bucky. ¡§People have asked us, ¡¥How did you ever do that?¡¦ We never looked at it like that. We had no choice. We just did what we had to
John Agnew, head of log procurement, measures a Walnut log on the yard in Fayette.
do to keep things going.¡¨
Eventually, the new mill was constructed in Fayette on 50 acres of land. Jim, Jerry and Bucky were able to build the mill the way that they wanted, ensuring that their operation flowed from one end to the other.
At their new location in Fayette, Ryan Pescaglia, Jerry¡¦s son, has the position of yard foreman and kiln operator.
Specializing in Walnut, Red and White Oak and Soft Maple, the company also carries Sycamore, Ash and Hackberry, along with Aromatic Cedar. The operation is equipped with a first-rate band mill, with a Valley Machine debarker, and a brand new MDI metal detector, which is integral to an operation that processes as much Walnut as Missouri-Pacific does. The primary breakdown is done through a McDonough 6/7-A and a Corley 48-inch carriage with a Lewis controlled scanner, a 48-inch Crosby edger and double end trimmer, a Fulghum
Lou Hart and Jo Sanders are part of the sales team at Missouri-Pacific.
chipper and a Moore automated stacker.
The company also installed a new circle mill to process the Walnut logs that have metal in them. This allows them to recover expensive lumber out of logs that were already paid for that the firm was unable to handle on the band mill.
Missouri-Pacific just installed a new American Wood Dryers steamer with a capacity of 60,000 board feet, and have dry kilns with 620,000-board-foot capacity. Covered air-drying capacity at the facility is 2 million board feet. The yard is also able to keep 4 million board feet of air-dried inventory, and 3 million board feet of kiln-dried inventory.
Missouri-Pacific Lumber Co.¡¦s hardwood lumber is available in a variety of thicknesses, including 4/4 through 12/4 in most species, and up to 16/4 in Soft Maple and Aromatic Cedar and Walnut, 4/4 through 10/4 in Sycamore, and 4/4 through 8/4 in Red and White Oak. In Red Oak and Walnut, the business does rift and quartered, and custom cuts 12-inch and wider Red Oak. Shipments are available in mixed loads, surfaced or straight line ripped to customer specifications and delivered throughout the United States and around the world.
¡§Distribution is an important part of our business,¡¨ Jim said. ¡§While most of our customers are distribution yards and wholesalers, we a
Jeff Brown end-seals lumber at the operation.
lso sell directly to flooring manufacturers and some cabinet shop businesses.¡¨
The company also exports its lumber to China, Italy, Germany, Japan, the Philippines, Great Britain, Mexico, Korea, Canada, the Netherlands, Ireland and Saudi Arabia.
In addition to lumber, Missouri-Pacific markets veneer logs in Walnut, Red and White Oak and Cherry. In the past few years, forestry is an area that the company has invested in heavily. Jim explained that a lack of loggers led the company to this point.
¡§We have hired a forester and have two full-time employees buying logs and standing timber,¡¨ Jim said. ¡§We have also invested in some logging equipment, and are starting to do more of our own logging. I can tell that in the future that is probably going to be an area that we grow in.¡¨
Scott Schroeder is the head sawyer at the firm.
With three generations of lumbermen, quality has been something that the Pescaglia family has been focused on.
¡§You can¡¦t run a business from behind a desk,¡¨ Bucky said. ¡§You have to be involved in the business and understand how the manufacturing end works. We work very hard to give our customers a positive first impression. Our trucks are loaded correctly, and we have a quick turnaround. There are just a lot of things that we try to do on a daily basis that help us to market our products.¡¨
Jim added that repeat business is also an important part of their business, and that repeat business is based on the quality of their products.
¡§I think our quality has brought repeat business back to us over the years,¡¨ Jim said. ¡§We¡¦ve invested a lot of money in our operation to make sure we are doing everything we can in order to keep our customers coming back.¡¨
The Walnut sawlog inventory at Missouri-Pacific is covered with Shade-Dri„¥ during the summer months.
Missouri-Pacific is a member of and supports the Hardwood Manufacturers Assoc., the Missouri Forest Products Assoc., the American Walnut Manufacturing Assoc. and the National Hardwood Lumber Assoc. Bucky serves on the rules committee and the inspection services committee of the NHLA.
NHLA grading rules over Walnut is just one of the areas that the company is involved in, according to Bucky. He stated that consistency in grading Walnut is a heated topic that has a bearing on the quality of Walnut customers get from various companies across the country.
¡§I feel that much confusion is caused by not aligning yourself with a quality supplier,¡¨ he said. ¡§If you are doing business with someone who knows Walnut and understands how to apply the NHLA rules, you are going to get a quality product on a consistent basis.¡¨
Jim added that their company has been specializing in Walnut for many years, ensuring that their customers get the best product available.
Air-dried lumber is stacked on concrete pylons to ensure that the boards are straight.
¡§We have spent a lot of years coming up with a formula that gets the absolute best results,¡¨ he explained. ¡§We recently invested a lot of money in a steamer rather than trying to use a dry kiln to steam our Walnut lumber, which would have been cheaper. However, we will not and do not believe in cutting corners when it comes to doing the right thing for our customers.¡¨
Bev Kauling and Linda Hayes are part of the office staff.