Spotlight on the Legacy of Jordan Lumber & Supply

What does it take for a family business to thrive for over 85 years in a town of just 1,200? At Jordan Lumber & Supply, the answer lies in a blend of sustainable forestry practices and deep-rooted family values. As part of our ongoing series on sawmills in small-town America, Jordan Lumber proves a leader in putting people first.

Founded in 1939, the Southern Yellow Pine sawmill has weathered the storms of economic cycles. Through it all, the North Carolina company has unwaveringly committed to the Mount Gilead community, passing this dedication from one generation to the next 

Jeff Jordan is the current Vice President. He runs the company alongside several other relatives. “My grandfather started the business in 1939,” Jeff recalls. “I’ve been here a little over 25 years, and my dad, who will be 84 in October, is still involved as the Executive Vice President.”

Putting People First in Rural Communities

But Jordan Lumber & Supply isn’t just a family business; it’s a vital part of Mount Gilead. 

“We’ve always been big about giving back to the community,” Jeff says. This commitment is evident in their motto: “Our people make the difference.” It’s not just a slogan; it’s a core belief that drives the company’s success. “A lot of the employees still live in this area, and many of them are people I went to school with or who have connections to my family.”

Jeff fondly remembers his uncle’s perspective: “We could have sold our mill and made a lot of money, but you can do a lot more for the community if you don’t.” 

In addition to the annual company picnic, the company frequently supports local needs, whether lending equipment or donating to town projects. They are even in the process of building a daycare facility to address community needs, underscoring their dedication to enhancing local life.

A Commitment to Environmental Stewardship

Sustainability is another pillar of Jordan Lumber & Supply. The company owns over 70,000 acres of forestland within a 65-mile radius of their mill, ensuring a steady supply of raw materials while minimizing transportation impacts. 

“We’ve always prioritized environmentally friendly practices,” Jeff explains. 

This story of resilience and community commitment makes you pause and consider the broader narrative of American small towns where local businesses play pivotal roles. As you stand in the midst of their bustling sawmill, it’s impossible not to feel a profound respect for the generations of Jordans who’ve dedicated their lives to upholding a legacy that’s as enduring as the mighty Southern Yellow Pines they harvest.

In fact, they plant over 1.1 million trees each year, far exceeding what they harvest. Moreover, Jordan Lumber & Supply operates with a near-zero waste philosophy, ensuring they utilize every part of the tree.

“When trees are thinned around age 14 to 17, the wood that’s too small to make lumber is used for pulpwood,” Jeff explains. This material is processed into chips, which are then sold to Mohawk, a facility next door that manufactures high-density fiberboard for flooring products. 

Sawdust and bark are burned to fuel boilers that produce steam for drying lumber. Additional sawdust burners ensure efficient drying. This comprehensive approach minimizes waste and maximizes the environmental benefits of their operations.

“Our job is to be as efficient every day as we can,” he says.

The Face of Rural America

In an era where large faceless corporations often overshadow small businesses, Jordan Lumber & Supply stands strong, exemplifying what a company can achieve by staying true to its roots.

 “We’re not just here to make money,” Jeff says. “We’re here to make a difference.”

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