By Claudia Johnson
Special to the UCBJ
UPPER CUMBERLAND – GF Hardwoods in Moss is one of nine Tennessee businesses that will continue to grow and positively impact rural economies through a grant a provided by the Agriculture Enterprise Fund.
“GF Hardwoods has been a supplier of hardwood lumber for domestic and international customers since 1979,” said April Patterson, co-owner of GF Hardwoods; founded by her father, the late Doug Smith. “Our family business has been committed to making an impact in our area for 40 years by creating jobs and producing products our region can be proud of.”
Tennessee Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton and Economic and Community Development Assistant Commissioner Amy New joined local, state and business leaders in Clay County on April 16 for the announcement that GF Hardwoods was approved for a cost-sharing program to assist GF Hardwoods in purchasing a new loader and in updating valves on the lumber processing company’s dry kilns.
“Forestry is an incredibly important part of our state and local economies, and we are thrilled to see state support for businesses like ours,” said Patterson, who along with her brother, Shane Smith, and mother, Janie Smith, own other forestry-related businesses in the Upper Cumberland, including Honest Abe Log Homes, Barky Beaver Mulch and Soil Mix, Moss Sawmills and The Wood Store.
A product of the Governor’s Rural Task Force, the Agriculture Enterprise Fund is an incentive program that supports job creation and economic development by facilitating agricultural development. Priority is given to businesses located in at-risk or distressed counties, of which Clay County is one.
“We feel extremely blessed that GF Hardwoods is among the nine statewide beneficiaries of the Agriculture Enterprise Fund this year,” said Patterson.
Successful grant recipients like GF Hardwoods were required to demonstrate strong potential for impact on local farm income, access to markets, increased capacity or agricultural innovation.
“The logs for our lumber are acquired within a 30 to 50 mile radius of our plant,” Patterson said. “We are proud to partner with landowners and loggers, who along with our team at our onsite milling operation, Moss Sawmills, enable us to consistently produce quality lumber that is competitive in a global market.”
For more information about GF Hardwoods and Moss Sawmills, visit www.gfhardwoods.com or contact GF Hardwoods President Quentin Moss at (931) 258-3944.