2018 Expo Richmond Educational Session

Creating a Successful Small Forest Products Enterprise: A Review of the Fundamentals

 May 17, 2018. From 8:00 am to 4:00 pm


Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Airport

441 International Center Dr.

Sandston, VA 23150

Phone (804) 222-3338

The success of any forest products business depends on the ability to maximize your produce recovery, understand your customer needs and providing them with the right products at a cost that allows you some profit. In this workshop we will break down these concepts into three fundamental units and cover the information to assist you in creating a successful small forest products business. 

Wood processing (8:00 am- 10:30 am) by Dr. Brian Bond


We’ll start the workshop focusing on the manufacturing of lumber and end with drying of lumber. Being able to effectively select and price logs for your expected output is critical to your business success. We’ll then move onto the best sawing strategy given your log quality and desired product. Then we will cover the basics of how lumber is graded for hardwood and softwood markets and conclude with an introduction to lumber drying, a great way to expand your markets and take advantage of a value added process.

Topics covered:

  • Log buying
    • Estimating Quality and Value
  • Log breakdown
    • Sawing techniques
  • Lumber grading
    • Overview of softwood and hardwood grading rules
  • Lumber drying
    • Introduction to lumber drying
    • Available technologies for small and medium operations

Business Management (10:30 am – 12:30 pm) by Henry Quesada


Business owners and managers need to understand basic financial management principles in order to know how profitable is their business. This section starts with an introduction to manufacturing costs and how indirect cost are allocated to processes and products. The second part covers the main highlights of financial statement analysis and the relationship between an income, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. Finally, there will be a discussion of the best possible strategies that small and medium size industry owners in this industry can implement to increase the value of the operation.

Topics covered:

  • Cost Allocation
    • Direct techniques to allocate cost to products and processes
  • Financial Management
    • Income, balance sheet, and cash flow statements
  • Business Strategy
    • How to compete based on cost, product differentiation and niche markets

Lunch (12:30 pm-1:30 pm). On your own

Marketing and Selling principles (1:30 pm – 4:00 pm) by Robert Bush


The last section of the day but not the least important will cover critical aspects of marketing and selling. The marketing process is about formulating effective strategies to promote the firm’s products and how the product should be distributed to customers. Specific selling techniques will be covered oriented to small and medium size business.

Topics covered:

  • Principles of Marketing
  • Selling lumber
  • Developing a marketing plan

Registration and investment.

Investment is $100 and includes two coffee breaks and the workshop materials. Lunch is on your own. CEU credits are available upon request. To register, please follow this link:


Speakers biographies

Brian H. Bond, Ph.D., serves as an associate professor and extension specialist in the area of wood products. His focus is on improving the sustainable use and manufacturing of wood products. He has fifteen years experience in wood drying, sawmill performance, and the performance of wood products (flooring, furniture, etc.). Contact bbond@vt.edu.

Robert Bush, Ph.D
. Bob work involves two related areas: forest products and packaging. Within each, I study marketing and related business functions. I believe that the great majority of students will be employed in positions which require them to understand and use business concepts and incorporate opportunities to gain this knowledge into my courses. I believe that we learn by doing as well as studying. Consequently, my courses incorporate experiential opportunities wherever possible. I enjoy working with both undergraduate and graduate students. Contact rbush@vt.edu.

Henry Quesada, Ph.D., is an associate professor at the Department of Sustainable Biomaterials at Virginia Tech. A 2002 and 2004 alumni of Purdue University, Henry works in the areas of Supply Chain Management, Operations Research, International Marketing, Lean Thinking and Environmental Impact. He has been awarded over $3 million in grants and contracts as principal and co-principal investigator. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles. Henry also has served as a consultant for private and public organizations such as USDA-FAS, USAID, Peacework, and Faber Castell. Contact: quesada@vt.edu


Questions and more details

Please email Mrs. Angela Riegel at ariegel@vt.edu or call at 540 231 7107

ADA Statement

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommoda- tions to participate in this activity: please contact Henry Quesada at 540-2310978/TDD* during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations 5 days prior to the event. TDD number is 800-828-112

Non-discrimination Statement

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, genetic infor- mation, marital, family, or veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportuni- ty/affirmative action employer