STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- Forestry is a big business in Mississippi.
Timber is bringing jobs to the state while boosting the economy.
Over 60% of Mississippi is covered in forests.
“Total impact in Mississippi is about $15 billion annually that includes the job associated with logging the job associated with sawmilling the job associated with trucking and hauling and all the aspects of what production furniture is a very big sector especially in this region,” said George Hopper.
And Timber continues its growth in Mississippi’s Economy.
“So the forestry industry is having a pretty good year there’s a lot of demand for wood right now as you look at some of the economic factors with housing starts and the cost of lumber is driving certainly some activity in the industry and has been throughout this year,” said Justin McDermott.
The past few years forestry in Mississippi has been pretty stable.
But conditions can change quickly, and one thing that can cause a spike is a natural disaster.
“When a hurricane hits it’s going to tear houses up you have to rebuild those houses that does help the lumber industry and also destroys the forest, so you have to get that timber and try to salvage that timber, so that helps the harvesting side of it. I know we have a few customers that will go to North Carolina and take machines and kinda help clean up the mess,” said Justin Webb
With business up, those in the industry and the university say there is still room to branch out.
“It’s a huge business and is the show, shows the number of people that are impacted by forestry from the people that grow the trees all the way through to the production of homes and furniture is a very very important component of our state’s economy,” said Hopper.
Hopper says that the Mississippi State Forestry Program Continues to grow and is putting students in professional jobs.