RICHFIELD—A Sanpete County company that started out producing wood shavings for the turkey industry and then moved into converting timber salvaged from the Manti-LaSal National Forest into firewood bundles has been named the Sanpete County Business of the Year.
The award, jointly sponsored by the Six County Association of Governments (AOG) and Six County Economic Development District, was presented Dec. 1 to Timberline Wood Products, LLC of Moroni at the Six County AOG’s 32nd annual recognition banquet.
According to an article in Timberline Magazine, a monthly trade magazine for the wood products industry, the company started in 2013 as Sanpete Shavings Supply, LLC.
The founder, Mickey Beckstead, said he had spent 28 years in the freight industry and wanted to run his own business. He had grown up on a mink farm, so he was familiar with wood shavings used as bedding for animals.
He purchased equipment capable of taking all kinds of wood deemed as waste in the regular marketplace and turning it into shavings. Besides the turkey industry, he sold the shavings for use with horses and chickens.
According to the magazine article, in his first full year in business, Beckstead shipped out 160 semi-truckloads of shavings, nearly all to Utah buyers.
A few years later, the U.S. Forest Service started work to clear some of the 3 million Engelmann spruce trees in Utah that had been killed by the spruce beetle in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The dead wood posed a fire threat in the Manti-LaSal and other national forests.
Beckstead’s company started buying logs from loggers who were clearing them from the forest. Later, it leased tracts from the Forest Service and started to clear the wood itself. Then it started converting the logs to bundled firewood for sale at convenience stores.
Beckstead operates the firewood-bundle business under the name Timberline Wood Products, LLC.
Beckstead told Timberline Magazine that his business motto is: “Be honest, even if it hurts.” If your cards are on the table, he told the magazine, “It’s possible to resolve any issues that arise.”
The business of the year in each of the counties in the Six County Area is selected by the local county commission.