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Conference to explore industry growth strategies

A leadership conference for discussion of ideas to re-create markets for domestic hardwoods and U.S.-made wood products is scheduled for Aug. 2 at the Wood Education and Resource Center in Princeton, W.Va.

The conference is a one-day gathering of the minds in the forestry and wood products industries to seek out a new path to regain lost sales and markets, according to organizer Harry Watt, wood products specialist at North Carolina State University.

“We are inviting private sector businesses that include manufacturing, distribution and retail businesses, including sawmills, drying operations and value-added businesses involved in cabinets, furniture and millwork. Also invited are organizations in the non-profit sectors, including, forestry organizations, economic development, industry trade associations, foundations, colleges and universities,” he says.

The conference will include several business owners who will be reporting on strategies that have led to growth and profitability in their operations. Additional speakers will address where to find new opportunities to regrow the industry by looking at products and market niches, recent studies in consumer preferences for wood products, sources for financing forestry and wood operations, support by non-profits and a look for ideas for reaching the public by studying the successful local food movement.

The cost is $35 per person and includes lunch. For information, visit

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