Beckwith Lumber Co., located in Slaty Fork, has been selected as West Virginia's 2011 Large Sawmill-of-the-Year.
The West Virginia Forestry Association presents this award annually to recognize outstanding lumber operations throughout West Virginia.
"Beckwith Lumber Co. is one of the five businesses owned and operated by Ralph and Glenda Beckwith," forester Tom Crickenberger said. "They started operation in 1961 and, as with many family businesses, they've had their share of setbacks, including three devastating fires.
Accepting the West Virginia Forestry Association’s 2011 Large Sawmill-of-the-Year Award are Ralph Beckwith of Beckwith Lumber Co. and Linda Carnell, Sawmill-of-the-Year Selection Committee chairperson.
"However, they have continued to grow their businesses, which now include three generations working together and employ approximately 140 people," he said.
Crickenberger added that Beckwith Lumber produces 12.5 million board feet of lumber annually, much of which is harvested from its 65,000 acres of timberland.
"The Beckwiths' strong work ethic, determination and land stewardship make them very deserving of this award," Crickenberger said.
The West Virginia Forestry Association represents the state's forestry community with more than 600 members that include foresters, loggers, private forest landowners, as well as businesses that produce furniture, lumber, flooring, building supplies, fencing and paper.
The association works to promote sound forest management practices by recognizing the outstanding efforts of those in the forest industry that perform exemplary work.
According to the Association, forestry is the only natural resource industry that touches every one of West Virginia's 55 counties, employing more than 30,000 people in forestry and related industries.
The forestry community also supports education in West Virginia through programs such as Project Learning Tree.
For more information on the West Virginia Forestry Association, call 888-372-WOOD.