DR Johnson Lumber Company Announces the Reopening of its Prairie Wood Products Division

DR Johnson Lumber Company, a second-generation, family-owned sawmill located in Riddle, Oregon, announced on Thursday (6-2-22) that its Prairie Wood Products division will be reopening its sawmill in Grant County, Oregon. The sawmill is scheduled to reopen in July and hire approximately 50 employees, bringing much-needed employment back to Eastern Oregon.

Prairie Wood Products was purchased in 1976 by Don “D.R.” Johnson. He expanded the mill’s capacity by building a computerized stud mill in 1981 and adding the production of electricity in the CoGen facility in the late 80s.

Prairie Wood Products operated successfully for more than 30 years, employing over 100 people for two different shifts. In 2008, as the housing market crashed and led to diminished timber sales, the mill was forced to close. D.R. passed in 2010, and his daughter, Jodi Westbrooks, took over as president in late 2021.

Commenting on the reopening of the Prairie Wood Products mill, Kyle Westbrooks, business development manager for Prairie Wood Products and DR Johnson said, “We have deep roots here and we are excited about reopening the mill, bringing back jobs and once again supporting the Grant County community. People come up to me in the grocery store and tell me stories about my grandfather and how they are connected to the mill. So, this is very personal for us.”

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Original Source:
Prairie City sawmill reopens in July, bringing 50 new jobs