Over its 15-year history, wood door manufacturer Pacific Pine has seen its share of good times and tough times. In 2007, the company was running strong with solid sales and nearly 70 employees. To sustain the momentum and continue to grow, they decided to take on short-term debt for large machinery and equipment. It wasn’t long, however, before the housing market and overall economy slid downhill, taking the company’s sales along with them. By 2009, Pacific Pine had reduced their staffing level to 30 and made dramatic changes to operations. At the same time, many conventional banks were having problems of their own. As a result, Pacific Pine’s lender decided they would not continue to carry Pacific Pine’s line of credit.
Having weathered tough economic times, Pacific Pine Products, Inc. is on track to have a record year for 2012, hammering out roughly 5,000 doors each month. “I can’t believe there are so many people buying doors,” says company vice president Greg Larson (shown with product).
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Memories of a good home cooked meal…. Mom’s in the kitchen…Dad’s snatching tidbits when Mom’s back is turned….wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen. As the family joins together for dinner, the table is laden with scrumptious food, and Mom brings the crowning jewel to the table… a beautiful golden brown goose, roasted to perfection.
Are you wondering where you’d find a goose today to enjoy any time? Did you know that 85-90 percent of the geese on the American market come from Schiltz Foods in Sisseton, South Dakota – a family business that grew from 5 geese in 1944 to over 200,000 birds today. Brothers Richard and Jim Schiltz took over for their dad, Marlin, several years ago and oversee everything from production to marketing and beyond. Read more »
In his State of the Union Address, the President announced a plan for building a strong, successful and lasting economy. He spoke in particular about the need to source jobs domestically in order to bring employment back to the United States and the need for a strong manufacturing base to build our economy upon. Here at the USDA, we are doing our part by supporting rural businesses, building modern, reliable community infrastructure, and working with farmers and ranchers to export products grown in America.
Earlier this week, I participated in a webinar about domestic sourcing and opportunities for partnership between the federal and private sectors back home to America. As the representative for all federal programs, I highlighted many partnering opportunities across agencies like the Small Business Administration and Economic Development Administration, and described in depth the opportunities Rural Development provides to rural residents and businesses. In particular, I spoke about our rural business programs, like the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program and the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program which in the last year have assisted over 50,000 small and mid-size rural businesses across the country in creating or saving roughly 266,000 jobs. Read more »
Reducing rental housing operating expenses, preserving the environment and promoting local energy sources is a priority for USDA Rural Development, demonstrated by green-energy initiatives like the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and the Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. Rural Development is now offering the Multi-Family Housing Energy Efficiency Initiative as part of the existing application process for Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program for New Construction, Section 514 Farm Labor Housing Loans and Section 516 Farm Labor Housing Grants for Off-Farm Housing, Section 522 Housing Preservation Grants, and Sections 514, 515 and 516 Multi-Family Housing Revitalization Demonstration Programs. This new initiative aims to promote development projects that make an effort to reduce energy use, reduce energy required from the energy grid supply, have little or no net emission of greenhouse gasses, and are economically viable.
The Energy Efficiency Initiative focuses on three areas: energy conservation, energy generation, and green property management. Points are given to applicants for energy efficiency certifications, use of energy efficient building materials and design strategies, generation of energy on site, and commitments to energy efficient post-construction operation and maintenance. Through administration of this initiative combined with existing Rural Development programs, USDA hopes to reduce the need for outside energy sources, reduce energy costs, promote the economy, and ultimately secure a better environment for future generations. Read more »
Farm owner Andy Dunham (wearing cap) explains his crop production system to John Whitaker, FSA Iowa State Executive Director
Recent estimates indicate only nine percent of family farm income comes from farming and fewer than half of our nation’s farmers and ranchers list farming as their primary occupation. Read more »
As America dedicates more resources to researching, developing and deploying new energy production technologies to help reduce its dependence on petroleum imported from abroad, positive discussions are occurring among energy industry leaders about the environmental and economic impact adopting these emerging technologies might have nationally. Read more »