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Producing Excellence

Jim Neiman

Hulett, WY

Neiman Enterprises

Products Raised or Grown: Timber

Size of Operation: 440 employees

In Business Since: 1936

Farm Credit Partner: Farm Credit Services of America

Working with Farm Credit Since: 2001

The walls of our homes, the furniture we sit on and the paper we use – wood products touch our lives every day. Helping to supply that wood is Neiman Enterprises Inc., a forest products company that processes trees at three locations and runs a separate company that uses some of the byproducts they generate.

Neiman Family Forest Products business, founded in 1936 by current president Jim Neiman’s great grandfather, does more than mill the wood – it also harvests it, working in upwards of 25 different tracts at a time. A voluntary participant in the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, it harvests in a way that benefits the forest itself, reducing risk of fire and insect damage and removing trees to make room for newer, healthier growth. Sustainable practices also provide benefits to wildlife, clean water, recreational users of the land, as well as preparing for the needs of future generations.

“When you look at long term sustainability, we’re doing everything possible to make sure that the forest is as healthy as possible for the next 50 to 100 years,” Jim says. “We’re doing what’s right to protect our resources, and also meeting the preferences of customers who like to know that the wood they’re purchasing is from a properly managed forest.”

Those customers are primarily window manufacturers who use the wood for frames, large cash-and-carry stores who supply wood products for consumer use, and industrial customers who purchase wood for crating and many other uses. These primary products are supplemented with a broad list of by-products: sawdust is pressed into pellets used for home heating and horse bedding, wood shavings are bagged and sold to feed and seed stores as bedding for cattle and other livestock, bark is screened for landscape use, and chips are sent to a paper mill. “We use almost 100% of everything that we take out of the forest,” Jim says.

This complex and comprehensive business is operated by 440 employees, an excellent management team and another 250 contracted employees, a group that is essential for its success. “Each and every one of our employees is a part of our success,” Jim says. “They, along with the family members, have a strong focus on the long term.” Jim’s father, mother, brother and sisters as well as his son and a nephew – the 4th generation – are currently involved in the company.

Jim also points to Farm Credit as a strong contributor to the company’s success. “They’re an excellent partner and advisor, primarily because of their ag background. People don’t always think about it this way, but we are an ag producer. We just harvest a 100+ year crop instead of an annual crop.”

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