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American Wood Fibers named 2016 Marion County Industry of the Year

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 5:00 am (Updated: November 9, 5:01 am)

American Wood Fibers was awarded the 2016 Marion County Industry of the Year Award Friday, Nov. 4, at the Marion County Industrial Foundation’s annual Industry Appreciation Banquet in Lebanon.  Inter-County Energy Cooperative sponsors the annual event in support of the local manufacturers in Marion County.

Stephen Faehner, American Wood Fibers CEO, and Pat Krish, vice president of central operations, were on hand to accept the award.

“American Wood Fibers strives to fulfill our mission to provide innovative products to our customers, help our people reach their personal and career goals, and provide a positive contribution to the environment through total wood waste utilization,” Faehner said. “The real credit goes out to our local leaders who create an atmosphere where our mission can be realized and to our AWF family of employees in Lebanon who make it happen every day. We are honored and humbled to be recognized by the Marion County Industrial Foundation as the 2016 Industry of the Year for Marion County, Kentucky.”

American Wood Fibers was established in Lebanon in 1990, and has been a pillar in Marion County for 26 years. This year, AWF celebrated 50 years of being in business. In 1966, Frank and Joy Faehner founded Eastern Wood Fibers, which later became American Wood Fibers headquartered in Columbia, Maryland.

AWF has 10 locations and employees 465 people nationwide. Here in Lebanon, they employ 72 people and continue to add employees. They are currently accepting applications in Lebanon.
The company’s motto is “Good for the people. Good for the planet.”

AWF’s products are completely biodegradable. There is no processing involving inks, dyes, bleaching or chemicals – just clean, screened wood fiber, which makes their product all natural and environmentally friendly.
The hard working, talented, skilled, dedicated employees of this company take pride in their products, the production and their reputation, which has made AWF the nation’s largest manufacturer and supplier of pet and equine bedding.

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American Wood Fibers was awarded the 2016 Marion County Industry of the Year Award Friday. Pictured, from left, are David Ballard (general manager), Geri Morgan (office manager), Vince Gideon (maintenance), Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, Kelly Gootee (administrative assistant), Eddie Buckman (operations manager), Steven Reynolds (maintenance), Tim Meredith (engineering), David Brewster (AWF Express), Pat Krish (vice president of central operations).

American Wood Fibers Announces The Strategic Acquisition Of Lost Coast Forest Products

Columbia, MD, February 26, 2015

Stephen Faehner, President and CEO of American Wood Fibers, Inc. (AWF) and Geoff Freidman, President of Lost Coast Forest Products (LCFP) are excited to announce the acquisition of LCFP by AWF. LCFP is a market leader and national supplier of USDA approved, kiln dried packaged firewood and accessories in the U.S., and AWF is the largest U.S. manufacturer of wood shavings, wood flour, and other natural fiber products.

“The integration of Lost Coast’s products into the AWF family of products will complement our current assortment and make the purchasing of firewood, kindling and holiday forest products easier and more efficient. It will also significantly expand our customer’s options for purchasing a variety of hearth and home, agricultural, and other products.” said Mr. Faehner. Mr. Freidman added “We look forward to continuing to offer the high quality products and superior level of service both AWF and LCFP are known for with our business partners.”

American Wood Fibers was founded in 1966 and is a market leader in the field of specialty forest products. The company offers large and small animal beding, industrial wood flour, and premium wood pellet and firewood products. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, AWF has ten manufacturing sites across the continental USA.

For more information, contact Rich Whiting, VP Sales and Marketing, 443-545-1921, rwhiting@awf.com

American Wood Fibers Announces Change In Company Leadership

Columbia, MD, March 7, 2014.

CEO General Ed Leland passes the baton to son of company founders

American Wood Fibers (AWF) announced today that later this year Stephen J. Faehner, son of company founders Frank and Joy Faehner, will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The current CEO,  General (R) Ed Leland, will retire after 17 years with AWF.

Under Gen. Leland’s guidance, the company saw significant growth. Manufacturing facilities expanded from five to ten, numerous new products were added, and annual sales revenue quadrupled. The exact timing of General Leland’s departure is dependent on the completion of several key hiring actions, but will be not later than the 30th of September 2014.

AWF is anticipating a seamless transition. Stephen Faehner (44) has served the company in progressively senior sales and management capacities for 20 years and in many ways has been preparing to lead AWF most of his life. All at AWF are proud that Stephen will be their CEO and are looking forward to continued profitable growth under his leadership.

“I am profoundly grateful for the monumental efforts from everyone at AWF that went into making the company what it is today. Though no longer with us, I am confident that founder Frank Faehner would have been beaming with pride at his son taking the reins at AWF” said retiring CEO Leland.

“I am humbled and excited to have the opportunity to follow in the footsteps and extraordinary leadership of my father and Ed Leland” said new CEO Stephen Faehner. “Building on the impeccable foundation laid by Frank and Ed, and with the help of our world class team, I look forward to an era of profitable growth, guided by our core values of caring for our AWF family and customers, and to making a positive contribution to the world in which we live by producing the highest quality products.”

American Wood Fibers was founded in 1966 and is a leader in the specialty forestry products field. The company offers large and small animal bedding, industrial wood flour, premium wood pellet products and transportation services. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, AWF has ten manufacturing sites across the continental U.S.

American Wood Fibers Achieves Qualification Under Pellet Fuels Institute Standards Program

Industry Leading Company Is Among First North American Companies Inspected And Approved By Independent Third Party Auditing Process

Columbia, MD, August 26, 2013.

American Wood Fibers, Inc. (AWF), a leading producer of wood pellet fuel and the largest manufacturer of wood shavings and wood flour products in the U.S, announced that the company has earned industry qualification under the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) “Pellet Fuels Standards Program”. AWF is the first company to qualify both hardwood and softwood fuel pellet products and is one of only three companies to earn the designation, which indicates compliance with the most rigorous standards in the industry. AWF is now authorized to display the new PFI quality mark on their fuel pellet products.

“American Wood Fiber’s qualification to the PFI Standards Program is another milestone in its longstanding commitment to consistent, high quality products and delivering the best value available in all the markets we serve,” said AWF President and CEO, Ed Leland.

The PFI Standards Program is an independent third party auditing and qualification program which, for the first time in the pellet industry, provides uniform standards for manufacturing process control, quality assurance and product performance. The program was established in 2012 as a mechanism to assure consumers and retailers that pellet fuel consistency and quality matches the manufacturer claims.

The qualification, which applies to both AWF pellet producing sites, in Circleville, OH and Marion, VA, is the culmination of work done in conjunction with the PFI and Timber Products Inspections (TPI) over the last year. “We’re pleased that American Wood Fibers has joined the PFI Standards Program, demonstrating their commitment to producing quality fuel and supporting increased consumer awareness and satisfaction about the products they are purchasing from the pellet fuels industry” said PFI executive director Jennifer Hedrick. Chris Wiberg, manager of Biomass Energy Services at TPI said “American Wood Fibers has gone to great lengths to put in place a very robust quality management system within their facilities. As a result, their pellet production plants are now compliant with the PFI Standard and have been qualified by Timber Products Inspection. I offer my congratulations to the management and staff of these facilities for a job well done.”

“A lot of work has gone into this process and we’re very proud to have achieved independent verification that we are delivering wood fuel pellets that are among the best available,” said Rich Whiting, vice president of Equine, Pet and Pellet Sales and Marketing for AWF. American Wood Fibers was founded in 1966 and is a leader in the field of specialty forestry products. In addition to the AWF fuel pellet division, the company offers industrial wood flour and natural bedding and litter products for large and small animals. AWF also contract manufactures for a large group of well-known private label partners. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, AWF has ten manufacturing sites across the continental U.S.

Pet Bedding Testing Reveiw Conducted By The Michigan State University Diagnostic Center For Population And Animal Health

Click here to download a PDF copy of actual report from MSU

REVIEW INDICATES PRESENCE OF DIOXIN IN SMALL PET PAPER BEDDING PRODUCED FROM RECLAIMED PULP FIBERS

Experts say that exposure to dioxins should be avoided whenever possible

Columbia, MD, October 16, 2012 – One year after releasing test results indicating the presence of dioxins in small pet paper bedding products made with reclaimed pulp, or “sludge,” American Wood Fibers (AWF) today announced that a recently completed Michigan State University (MSU) review of the results indicates that these findings appear reasonable.

“Based on the findings of this limited initial study, it is important to note that pet beddings made with reclaimed pulp fibers are more likely to contain detectable levels of dioxin than wood shavings or byproduct papers,” wrote John P. Buchweitz, Ph.D., clinical toxicologist, and Andreas F. Lehner, Ph.D., analytical chemist, both from the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center For Population and Animal Health (DCPAH). The review notes that “Dioxin and dioxin-like compounds are considered to be ubiquitous, particularly in more industrialized nations” and notes that DCPAH did not perform the testing on these products, therefore care should be taken in interpreting the results. Buchweitz and Lehner also state “there is an inherent health benefit to minimizing cumulative dioxin exposures and such exposures should be avoided whenever practical.”

Reclaimed pulp beddings are made with fibers that are collected from pulp mill sewage systems. Though the paper industry has made efforts to rid their waste streams of the most troubling compounds, tests conducted by independent laboratories – and supported by the DCPAH review – showed detectable amounts of Dioxin in samples of the reclaimed pulp paper beddings tested. These types of bedding products are produced by some of the leading manufacturers in the industry and widely used by consumers.

Drs. Buchweitz and Lehner conducted the review of previous testing of numerous small animal bedding products currently on the market. The tests were performed using EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Method 1613B, which “…is the EPA method of choice for Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) compliance testing and to meet the effluent monitoring requirements of the Pulp and Paper Industry,” states the review.

“The DCPAH review is another step in our ongoing efforts to understand and educate ourselves and others regarding the impact of source materials on the quality of pet beddings, and promote the importance of all-natural, safe bedding products,” said Edwin S. Leland, AWF president and CEO. “We’re using this information to guide us in the manufacturing of our branded and private-label beddings, all of which are ‘sludge free.’”

Buchweitz and Lehner also say, “We commend your company (AWF) for being proactive in limiting animal exposure to toxic polychlorinated debenzo-p-dioxins and –furans and feel certain that your ongoing monitoring program provides long term benefit to animal health.”

American Wood Fibers was founded in 1966 and is a leader in the specialty forestry products field. The company’s family of animal bedding brands includes Premier Pet™, Pets Pick™ and America’s Choice®. AWF also contract manufactures for a large group of well-known private label partners. In addition to the AWF small pet bedding division, the company offers large animal bedding, industrial wood flour, and premium wood pellet products. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, AWF has ten manufacturing sites across the continental U.S.

Industry News Update

Louis O. Beede & Sons Closes Doors in 2011
(Columbia, Maryland) — American Wood Fibers, the nation’s largest producer of wood flour and natural fiber products, is passing along the closing of Louis O. Beede & Sons in Lowell, MA. The company was active in wood shavings, wood flour, corn cob, sawdust and other fibers for consumer products and industrial applications.

Their website announced the closing recently as follows.

We are closing our doors! Since 1929 Louis O Beede & Sons Inc has been proud to serve in the sawdust industry. However, times have change and we no longer can. We wish to thank all of our customers and wish you the best in the future.

American Wood Fibers has pledged fast delivery to those customers who previously relied upon Louis O. Beede & Sons for their materials. With ten processing facilities from Maryland to California they can inventory hundreds of truckloads and deliver in just days. AWF is well-equipped with a fleet of 100 walking floor trailers and another 350 standard dry vans plus a network of Common Carriers ready to respond quickly and efficiently. For the convenience of application and delivery, the material is available in bulk, bulk bags, or kraft bags, and in almost any quantity.

“Our products are known for their high quality and competitive cost in the market.” Faehner also adds.

For more information and product specifications, contact the American Wood Fibers Industrial Sales Department or call Stephen Faehner directly at 800.642.5448.

Frank H. Faehner 1939 - 2009

Frank H. Faehner 1939 – 2009
Columbia, MD – October 8, 2009

It is with great sadness that American Wood Fibers announces the passing of its founder, Frank Faehner.

A pioneer in the concept of total wood waste utilization, Frank founded AWF in 1966 as Eastern Wood Fibers in Jessup Maryland.  With his energetic leadership and entrepreneurial spirit the company grew to become American Wood Fibers, the nation’s largest supplier of products made from recycled secondary wood waste, including animal bedding, wood flour, premium pellet fuel and other consumer and industrial products.

Frank Faehner embodied and instilled a culture of caring for family, courtesy, integrity and commitment to customer service that today is sustained by the fourth generation of the Faehner family and the more than 300 AWF employees.

Faehner was 69, and is survived by his wife Joy, daughter Stephanie, son Stephen, mother Dolly, brothers Mark and David, sister Gail and numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

American Wood Fibers Inc., a leader in the field of specialty forestry products, is committed to the development and marketing of animal care products that will enhance the quality of life for pets and livestock – and the enjoyment of owners.  We strive to make a positive contribution to the environment through total waste utilization in our forestry products, use of recyclable materials for our packaging, and the development of environmentally friendly products.

For further information, call 800-624-9663 or contact us

Switch To Pellet Fuel And Slash High Heating Prices

Source: Pellet Fuels Institute Pellet Heat

Natural gas to jump 8.2% followed by home heating oil at 6.6% in 2011, according to a recent U.S. Energy Information Administration report, leaving homeowners with high-priced home heating for the coming winter months. For those looking to contain their home heating expense, economical and environmentally-friendly pellet-fuel is the answer to the winter doldrums.

Unlike fluctuating oil, natural gas and propane prices, plus the dependency on foreign imports that affect pricing, pellet fuel costs have historically remained stable. In the past few months, on average prices are lower than they were in 2009, with a ton of pellets priced between $219 and $279.  Consumers can plan now for the heating season and better manage their home heating costs by switching to a pellet-fueled heater and purchasing pellet fuel this spring.

Homeowners looking to stay within their household budgets can further cut costs by practicing zone heating.  Turn down the central furnace and let a pellet appliance heat the room or rooms where the family gathers.  And, pellet burning appliances qualify for a 30% up to $1,500 tax credit in 2010. Visit www.pelletheat.org for more information.

Over 3 million tons of pellets warmed American homes in the 2009 heating season, and more homeowners are expected to utilize pellets in the upcoming season, particularly when the cost of fossil fuels fluctuate due to probable economic recoveries.

“With over 100 pellet mills throughout North America, pellet fuel is becoming a major heating resource,  readily available and economically priced for consumers looking to manage the high cost of heating their home,” said Don Kaiser, executive director of the Pellet Fuels Institute.  “If you’re looking for a heating alternative, visit your local pellet appliance retailer.  There are many brands, sizes and styles to choose from.”

Pellet fuel is the perfect choice for people who often experience striking ups-and-downs in their home heating bills due to fluctuating energy costs.  More efficient and convenient than regular cordwood, pellet fuel is made from sustainable sources and its low moisture content allows for maximum burn and minimum smoke exhaust.

Pellet heating appliances are efficient home heaters that burn pellet fuel with minimal wood smoke, making pellet appliances the lowest emission solid-fuel burning heating product available today.  While generating heat from the wood pellets, the appliances operate on a small amount of electricity, which according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, will only rise 2.1 percent in the 2011 heating season, making pellet fuel and appliances a win-win heating system.

American Wood Fibers Has Acquired California Wood Shavings

Jamestown, CA — American Wood Fibers has purchased California Wood Shavings, located near the intersection of Highway 108 and J-59.

California Wood Shavings, previously owned by Bob Brewster, operates a wood shavings mill out of the former Joe Martin Trucking building. It provides bedding materials used by local equestrians and for those that compete at world-class horse shows. AWF is the nation’s largest supplier of wood flour and animal bedding. The company produces consumer packaged goods including premium wood pellet fuel, equine bedding, and professional grade wood flour (used in products like decking, absorbents and adhesives). AWF plans to continue the wood shaving mill’s operations.

“Over the next 12 months, we expect to see further investment and new jobs created,” says Larry Cope, Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority Director. “This type of wood-based operation perfectly complements our county’s history, the timber industry, and augments other mills in this area.”

AWF approached California Wood Shavings about the potential purchase eight months ago. Financial details were not disclosed.