The Dirt - Office with a View

posted on Thursday, January 23, 2020 in The Dirt

picJim Rogers has seen the timber business from nearly every angle. Cutting, hauling, mulching, and now in his latest endeavor, running a sawmill. “In today’s market, you have to be flexible — that’s the only way to make it,” says Rogers. The other ingredients for success? Family and work ethic. It’s how Rogers Wood Products, based just south of Terre Haute, Indiana, has expanded to include nearly every aspect of the wood business.

The Rogers family is a tight-knit clan, with Jim heading the operation and his wife, two sons and daughter, and son- and daughter-in-law chipping in with the myriad of tasks that accompany running a business. “Without family, you have nothing,” explains Rogers, which is a sentiment that extends to the company’s crews. “We do have foremen and bosses out there, but we don’t worry about production. We want them to treat each other like family. If you treat each other that way and do your job, production always follows.”

Much like the rain-soaked grounds surrounding the region, Rogers’ philosophy holds water. Since purchasing the sawmill, they’ve increased its production from five loads of lumber per week to 15, and have drastically cut down on employee turnover. “Before, the mill wouldn’t have a consistent supply of logs, so they might only work 15 hours a week. We have more of an end-to-end operation now — in addition to select cuts, we clear land for a local mine, so it’s easier for us to keep the mill fed.”