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THREE CHEERS — Hip Hip Hooray!
This column salutes REAP businesses that are finding ways to increase their success.

Logging Goes from Hobby to Growing Business in Richardson County, Neb.

Rusty and Bob Zeigler from Salem in Richardson County started their lumber milling operation in 2004 after obtaining a loan from REAP for their start-up saw mill equipment. Rusty had a previous hobby of logging.

After learning of the need and doing some figuring, the father and son duo decided there would definitely be more money and opportunity in lumber milling. Their operation developed quickly over the past two years. Rusty bought out Bob’s partnership share recently when a local bank took over help with business financing.

Rusty and his wife Tanya are continuing to expand and obtain larger, more efficient milling equipment. They have increased their milling capacity to 40,000 board feet per month from 12,000 board feet. They say the challenge is getting enough raw material (wood from loggers) to keep up.

Also there are days when equipment breakdowns slow them down. They’ve run into a few times when collecting from customers has been tough. They firmly let their customers know that they expect to be paid or they’ll just find someone down the road who wants their lumber and will pay on time. Currently they are trying to keep up with the good demand in Nebraska from Pallets Plus in Blue Springs and a lumber broker out of Lincoln.

While they have learned a great deal through some of the start-up challenges, the Zeigler’s love the fact that they are their own boss and can call the profits from the business their own.

Rusty and Bob Ziegler at their Salem, Nebraska lumber mill. REAP helped to finance the sawmill equipment for the start-up business.
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Center for Rural Affairs -- Rural Enterprise Assistance Project
145 Main St.    PO Box 136    Lyons, Nebraska  68038
Voice:  (402) 687-2100       FAX:  (402) 687-2200      E-Mail: REAPinfo@cfra.org