New lumber mill opens in Willards 

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WILLARDS, Md. – Delmarva Lumber opened for business Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The mill stands on the former sire of Croppers Brothers Mill, which closed in 2018. “It feels wonderful, it’s an honor truly and honor to be able to rebuild relationships in the community, with loggers, tree owners the entire process all the way down,” said Delmarva Lumber Owner and Entrepeneur Ezra Rickards.

Rickards invested in the restoration of the mill, partnering with Farmers Bank of Williards to secure funding for the renewal. “This town was built around the sawmill. It shuttered around three and a half years ago. My involvement with the Farmers Bank of Willard as a member of the board, we felt the need for the community and I’m just somebody who, luck of the draw I guess, stepped up said I was willing to do it,” said Rickards.
State and local representatives were there to celebrate the opening and cut the red ribbon. State Senators Addie Eckardt and Mary Beth Carozza, Delegates Johnny Mautz, Wayne Hartment, and Chris Adams, and Wicomico County Acting Executive John Psota joined in.
Secretary of Commerce Kelly Schultz and Department of Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio spoke during the event, drawing attention to the need for businesses to revitalize communities on the Eastern Shore. Secretary Schultz believes the national lumber shortage allows the new mill to be able to reach more customers as demand for lumber rises across the country. “I think Maryland is going to be on the forefront with businesses like we see today with Delmarva Lumber,” said Secretary Schultz. “The story here is there was a shortage and that was because businesses like this were not here, industry was not occurring but Delmarva Lumber stepped up and helped not only the state but the rest of the country as well.”
Rickards says the mill has over one million board feet of timber ready to start being shipped.  He hopes it will be able to help businesses all along the lumber supply chain. “Everybody is a piece of this puzzle I’m just a small portion,” said Rickards.
Categories: Business, Local News, Maryland