Friday, October 19, 2012

Wisconsin's biggest opportunity

Compared to our corn, hay, soybeans, dairy, beef farmers – Wisconsin’s tree farmers only score about 25% of their potential volume and value growth.

Forest owners know almost nothing about what is actually our State’s most abundant agricultural crop and the level of management of 10,000,000 acres of private forest is disgraceful and mostly destructive to the future of the resource.  Most harvests take just the best trees and leave a mess of damage.  Today, many of our best walnut and white oak trees are being cut and exported to the far East for manufacturing, while local timber prices and market demand are at an all time low.   500,000 jobs and half of the production of the timber industry in Wisconsin has recently been lost due to mechanization and globalization.

Low market prices for trees are the cause of the neglect and high-grading – timber has always been a plentiful and very cheap commodity, so forest owners have had little incentive to learn about their timber crop or manage their trees in a future minded way.

Many landowners have worked hard to follow the advice of the professional foresters in industry, government, and universities.  Over and over I hear, “I did everything the foresters have told me, but the income from the harvest is not worth the damage to my land.”  

An occasional short sighted profit is often taken by a forest owner as it is better than nothing, but if the landowner knew the real value of their wood products, they would be shocked and feel shortchanged by the timber industry.

Our family tried everything recommended by the DNR for many years and sold timber several times to commercial sawmills.  Benefits for our efforts were insignificant compared to the amount of work and the value of our investment in the forest.

In the huge timber industry, the forest owner is the only person who does not make a fair income for their time and investment.

No professional forester could ever live off of the money that the forest owner’s gain from the professional’s advice.

In the forestry profession, “sustainable forestry” is when the professional foresters’ job is supported and their wages are paid.  No forest owner ever earns a profitable or sustainable income despite all the experts’ talk about sound forestry and green programs.

Efforts to earn a fair price for landowners in Wisconsin have been undercut by the government subsidies in Canada and the illegal logging in the tropics and Siberia.  When most timber in the global markets is not paid for at any significant level, Wisconsin’s timber industry can not remain competitive when landowners want to be paid for their trees.

Unless people in Wisconsin and our leaders face the truth about our huge forest resource, we will continue to squander this vast and potentially valuable resource.

No one wants to admit this is true, even though they know it is so. 
Everyone is afraid of change and settled in a system.
No one values timber in the first place, so it is no big deal either way.
Professionals don’t want to admit their failure or risk their jobs.
Forest owners don’t want to admit they have been duped for so long. 
Forest owners also are afraid they won’t be able to sell their timber or get DNR tax breaks or management grants.

There is a working and rewarding alternative timber market for anyone who wants to participate.
This working system is what every forest owner and every professional forester would want if they knew about it.   is a new and growing direct market to connect the consumers with the producers.
The goal is to promote the use of locally grown and manufactured wood products – first to meet local needs, then to export extra wood to other markets.

Wisconsin’s forestry professionals refuse to acknowledge that there is an alternative to the industrial forestry that supports their jobs, but the Timber Growers business model is recognized around the world by the United Nations and other groups as the leading marketing innovation in the global timber industry today.  Timber Growers has been invited as a featured speaker at the World Teak Conference in Bangkok in March 2013 and the United Nations International Conference on Wood in S Africa next October.  Past international conference presentations have been made in India, Viet Nam, New Zealand and Timber Growers is currently participating in marketing programs in Ecuador and Brazil. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Certified - No Robots were used to make this product

Hand Made – No Robots were used in the production of this product

Everyone is talking about the shortage of good jobs.  Buy American and Buy Local are a good start, but to really support good jobs, look closer.
Even in our factories here, robots and huge machines have replaced hundreds of thousands of workers.  One big corporation now shows a TV advertisement featuring a line of robots working to make a car that can even fix itself when one robot breaks – no people are seen or needed anymore.  The company slogan in the ad is “for the human network”.    How Stupid Can We Get?? 

We all buy stuff now built primarily by robots and huge machines that have put masses of people out of work.  Then we complain about jobs and the economy.

We need to Choose to;
Buy as Local as Possible
Buy from As Small A Business as Possible
Buy as Hand Made as Possible
Buy the Best Value for the Future of the Planet

We control the economy and jobs by what we buy everyday.   We are all responsible for our current situation and only we can change our future.
Buying Smart in the new Global Economy should be our top priority.  We need to do just the opposite of what got us into this mess.

Anyone who buys imported stuff in the big corporation’s store is actively exporting your money and our jobs.  You are building businesses and countries and jobs on the other side of the world.  Workers there are buying cars, and their growing factories using more fossil fuels – all driving up the cost of our fuel at our local gas stations.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wisconsin Small Family Business Award = 2012

Timbergreen Farm Wins the Wisconsin Small Family Business of the Year Award for 2012
A new Video - Timbergreen Farm Story of Sustainability  (3 minutes)   for details

Monday, March 5, 2012

Forest Supports the Local Economy

A forest should support the local community with building materials, many other products, a regular income, and good jobs.  This is kind of an old fashioned idea that has been lost the past 200 years due to global industrialization.   The industrial timber market with low commodity log prices continues to consume the remaining good timber on the planet, with few benefits to the local community, despite all the talk about sustainability and certification.

But every person who cares about the planet would agree that the forest should support the local community. 

Spring Green Timber Growers has built a new high value market for the wood we harvest each year from our small family farm, creating new jobs from dead trees.  We control the whole process from growing, harvesting, sawmilling, solar kiln drying, manufacturing, and direct marketing to customers.  By eliminating all the middlemen, using the smallest amount of energy, and minimizing shipping, we earn retail prices for our timber – about 100 times the income earned by other landowners.

Wood is easy to grow and harvest and manufacture on a small scale.  Wood products have a high value in the retail market.  Wood is the perfect fuel for small business in the local community.  Everyone uses wood everywhere – everyday – so these ideas are universal.

SGTG is developing a global wood marketing system to connect local wood growers direct with customers.  First priority is to use what people have to meet the local needs of the community, then export their extra wood to population centers that need wood products. 

Local Needs – Training and coaching can quickly get a small woodshop in operation. 

Global Marketing – a new website will link the grower with customers anywhere in the world.  Simple shipping of small packages to container loads is ongoing every day now.  Credit card payments online make payments easily.  Instant communication and global travel now connect people everywhere. 

The “American Dream” has gone global.  Anyone, Anywhere can run a small business to sell something that they make.  The only limitation is the imagination.