Teragren founders launch firm with eye toward U.S. bamboo farming
April 26, 2012
Teragren founders Ann and David Knight, with Craig Thomason, recently founded Resource Fiber LLC (RFL) (www.resource-fiber.com) and its subsidiary, Resource Fiber/ Alabama LLC (RF/A) to create a bamboo fiber-based agricultural and industrial complex in the United States using proprietary propagation technology.
The companies intend to harness the myriad applications of rapidly renewable bamboo to drive economic development and create jobs in the agriculture, energy, building products, food and beverage, bio-plastics, purification, transportation, aerospace and specialty textile fiber sectors. Products made from RFL fiber in the U.S. will support the “Buy America” government certification requirements [U.S.C. Section 50101 – Buying goods produced in the United States], according to the companies.
“We believe it’s time to add a new and valuable fiber crop to the portfolio in the U.S. – one already supporting multi-billion dollar global industries whose products are imported and consumed by millions of Americans – versatile, rapidly renewable bamboo,” said Resource Fiber President/CEO, David Knight.
“Initially, the company is focusing on growing bamboo in commercial-scale farming operations in the Alabama Black Belt region to create sustainable regional economic development, industry innovation and associated new employment opportunities. With the introduction of bamboo into the agricultural portfolio, the region will serve as the bamboo epicenter for the United States, bringing industry, new research and economic development not seen since the early 19th century when cotton was king,” Knight added.
Contract Manufacturing for Teragren
“Teragren’s long-term goal is to manufacture a portion of our bamboo building products in the U.S. using U.S.-grown bamboo as the raw material source,” said Teragren President Mike Boshart. “We anticipate category growth that will warrant expanding both material and manufacturing partnerships, and as a company founded and based in the USA, we are thrilled to be able to do so domestically. To produce and launch a Made In The USA Teragren product line, Resource Fiber will serve as a US-based contract manufacturer for Teragren. As the bamboo planted by Resource Fiber/Alabama matures it will be harvested and used in the construction of Teragren products, and manufactured to Teragren’s exacting quality specifications.”
In 1994, the Knights founded Teragren. In July 2011, they moved from key management positions to consulting support roles at Teragren to launch Resource Fiber. David Knight continues to serve on Teragren's Board of Directors and the Knights remain major shareholders.