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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Independent Stave Company to Open New American Oak Stave Mill in Independence County
BATESVILLE, Arkansas (April 14, 2022) – Independent Stave Company, a manufacturer of high-quality oak barrels and cooperage products, announced they will construct a state-of-the-art mill in Batesville to produce staves for bourbon and wine barrels. The company, which is the largest barrel maker in the world, will invest more than $30 million in the facility and create approximately 60 new jobs.
“This has been an exciting time as we continue to invest in our current and new facilities to support our customers and the growth of the industry,” said Brad Boswell, CEO of Independent Stave Company. “This new stave mill will be our seventh domestic mill, and an important addition allowing us to expand our supply of high-quality American white oak.”
Independent Stave Company operates six stave mills and three cooperages—with a fourth cooperage projected to open at the end of 2022—throughout the United States as well as a mill and cooperages overseas. Established in 1912, the company manufactures staves, barrels, and oak alternatives for customers in 40 countries around the world.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Independent Stave Company to Arkansas,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson. “As a family-owned company, they embrace the same values of Arkansans—family, innovation, community, and hard work. I am confident they will be a valuable business partner to Batesville and Independence County.”
Arkansas has a wealth of natural resources and raw materials necessary to manufacture cooperage products. A stave is a narrow length of wood with a slightly beveled edge used to make the barrels distillers and winemakers use to age wine, bourbon, whiskey, and other spirits. White oak, which is plentiful in Arkansas, is used in barrel staves because white oak has proven to be the best for crafting a liquid-tight container.
“White oak is just one of the 160 species of hardwoods grown in the state,” said Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston. “Timber is vital to the Arkansas economy. It contributes slightly more than five percent of our economy and employs more than 27,700 people. With more than 19 million acres of forestland in the state and a workforce that is second to none, I am confident that Independent Stave Company will find the resources they need in Arkansas to continue on the newest path of their journey.”
“We are proud to welcome Independent Stave Company to Independence County,” CEO of the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Batesville Economic Development Crystal Johnson said. “Our community strategic plan, IMPACT, has a strong focus on local leadership working together to recruit and expand industry sectors that have the greatest potential to create new jobs, raise incomes and elevate standards of living. This exciting announcement is directly in line with this vision of progressive economic growth.”
Brian K. Shonk, chancellor of University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville, said, “UACCB is excited to welcome Independent Stave Company to the region. Their selection of Independence County for their new stave mill adds to the already fast-growing advanced manufacturing sector in our area. UACCB looks forward to helping Independent Stave Company build their workforce and to continuing to support the company and their employees in future education and training needs.”
“On behalf of the citizens of Independence County and our Economic Development Commission, I extend a warm welcome to Independent Stave Company,” said Zachery E. Harber, chairman of Independence County Economic Development. “Our business and civic leaders recognize the economic impact of Independent Stave Company’s decision to move to our community and greatly value their investment. We are prepared to assist Independent Stave Company with site improvements and workforce development initiatives during this transitional time.”
Independent Stave Company plans to start operations at the end of 2023. For more information, including job opportunities, please visit www.independentstavecompany.com.