FISHERSVILLE, Va. - Blue Ridge Lumber announced plans recently to invest nearly $2.7 million and increase its hardwood exports. Along with the expanding production at the Essex County lumberyard, the company plans to add 17 jobs.

Blue Ridge Lumber is adding new dry kiln capacity and has committed to purchase more than $5.2 million of Virginia-grown logs and lumber over the next three years, according to a statement from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe's office. Founded in 1981 and based in Fishersville, Virginia, Blue Ridge Lumber operates six facilities throughout the state, with products exported worldwide.

“The mission of Blue Ridge Lumber is to manufacture and sell quality hardwoods, offering honest value to a global market,” said company President Thomas Sheets. “This new expansion enables us to expand upon this mission.”

“Blue Ridge Lumber’s continued growth and investment in Essex County is great indicator of the strength of Virginia’s forestry industry,” said Governor McAuliffe. “Investments like these create jobs and open new markets for Virginia’s forestland owners and their success reflects the strong relationship growers and producers have with manufacturers and businesses across the Commonwealth.”

“Through its commitment to sourcing logs and lumber from Virginia, Blue Ridge Lumber is further supporting Virginia’s loggers and forestland owners,” added Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden. “Virginia’s forestry industry contributes a $21 billion annual economic impact, and I am pleased the Commonwealth could partner with Essex County through the AFID Program to support this local business in a flourishing industry.”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with Essex County and Blue Ridge Lumber to secure the project. Governor McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which Essex County will match with local funds.

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