Wagner explores a new world: Indiana

MFPC checked in with our good friend Bob Wagner, formerly of UMaine, to see how he is faring in his new job as director and professor of Purdue’s Department of Forestry & Natural Resources.

Dr. Robert Wagner
Dr. Robert Wagner

“I am just getting used to all of the life and career changes,” Wagner emailed. “I also am having fun learning about my new department, which includes forestry, wildlife, fisheries, and wood science. I am also learning a lot about central hardwoods. Indiana has an unexpectedly large forest products sector.” He also shared a “few fun facts” about Indiana’s forest products industry:

  • 6th largest industry in Indiana
  • A leading producer of kitchen cabinets in the U.S. 
  • Third in hardwood lumber production in the U.S.
  • More forestland than in the 1960s (1967=3.8 million A, 2008=4.6 million)
  • Grows 3.8 times more hardwood volume than it’s cutting
  • Wood products have a $3 billion/year direct impact on the Indiana economy, with a total of $17 billion indirect impact
  • Hardwood industry directly employs more than 35,000 people with indirect employment of 86,139
  • Rivals corn and soybeans in economic impact in the state.

“Lesson learned so far is that secondary manufacturing is very important to a healthy forest products economy,” Wagner wrote, adding “I sure miss all of our CFRU members and the MFPC staff. I hope everyone is doing well. My 18 years in Maine were a tremendously satisfying chapter in my life and career. All the best to my Maine friends!”