Clinton County, New York
Logging has been a part of the American economy since the early 1600s when settlers landed in Jamestown, however, things have changed quite a bit over the years.
Evolution of logging
Rudimentary tools evolved into chainsaws, which have evolved in to sophisticated equipment that folks like Pat and Seana Remillard of Remillard Enterprises utilize today.
“A machine that costs close to three quarters of a million dollars is now replacing a $500 chainsaw,” Pat said. “These machines have to run every day, all day, all year.”
The wood that Remillard Enterprises harvests with these new technologies has many destinations. The highest quality product is sold for construction, furniture or flooring. What cannot be channeled into those markets is sold for firewood or pulpwood and the remainder is made into woodchips that Burlington Electric uses to generate electricity.
In addition to wood, Remillard Enterprises profits on income streams from a variety of products found on their land. On a traditional grain or vegetable farm, a farmer purchases the land on which they plan to plant a crop. However, with timber, one purchases the crop and the land comes with it. This can generate new and varied forms of income. “We bought land with gravel pits on it, which diversified our income from just cutting wood,” Pat said.
However, this abundance of opportunity can also be challenging, as beginning new business ventures requires capital. “Sometimes one or two or three opportunities will come at the same time and there’s no way you have the capital to act on all of them. But, with Farm Credit’s help, you can,” said Pat.
Farm Credit East has been there to support Pat and his wife, Seana, for over thirty years. “We’ve used Farm Credit East to help us appraise and value land on both sides, both in the selling and the purchasing,” Pat said.
Remillard Enterprises remains relevant despite the changes in the timber industry that Pat and Seana have witnessed over the years, “Overtime, those markets have shrunk. Maybe you just have to truck it to a different market farther away, but the need to have that done is always going to be with us.”