Our History

In 1967, brothers Joe and Hank Young established Young Brothers, Inc.  Then in the 1970’s, their younger brother, Mike came to work with them and became a stock owner in the business. In 1974, Young Brothers Trucking was formed. Then in 1982, Low Country Forest Products, Inc. of Georgetown, SC was established and Young Brothers Trucking was phased out. In 1986, the companies were re-organized. Hank and Mike Young bought Young Brothers, Inc. and Joe Young  bought  Low Country Forest Products, Inc.  and continues to serve as President.  He has 51 years experience in the timber industry and, with his family, owns and manages a family forest in South Carolina.

Joe serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the Forest Resources Association.  He was a member of the Sustainable Forestry Board 5 yrs representing the timber harvesting industry and is the former First Congressional District DOT Commissioner. He is the past President and Board Member of the South Carolina Timber Producers Association.  He formerly served in the S. C. Legislature, Santee Cooper Board of Directors, American Loggers Council Board of Directors, Chairman of South Eastern Technical Division Policy Council of FRA, Chairman of the S. C. Forestry Association and Chairman for the Georgetown County and City Planning Commissions.  He was S.C.F.A. Logger of the Year 1998 and presented the Charles H. Flory Distinguished Service Award in 2000 and the National Logging Business of the Year Award for 2004. He is currently a member and serving as pastor of Waccamaw House of Worship in the Bucksport Community.   He has been married to his wife, Linda, for 48 years and together have 3 daughters, 3 sons-in-law, 5 grandsons and 1 granddaughter, and 6 great-grandchildren.

Although honors and accolades continue to come his way, Young, 71, doesn't dwell on them. He doesn't have time; and would not, even if he did. There's always another meeting to attend, a contract to negotiate, a decision to make, a friend or neighbor to engage, a system to tweak, lemons to be made into lemonade, a relationship to hone, an opportunity to address. And threaded through it all is his sincere desire that the wood supply side's professional progress continues, or better still, accelerates.

Low Country is Young's core business, delivering more than 250,000 tons of clean chips and fuel wood annually to local and area markets. Its principal customer is International Paper's pulp / paper mill in Georgetown, the same facility served for years by Joe’s father. Over time Joe has surrounded himself with a team of highly skilled, dedicated personnel, building a family atmosphere and forging a keen, accountable business management style. He entrusts the competent Low Country team to run the highly refined organization in his absence. Young is quick to point out that although there are several relatives working in the business, "we are all treated equally as employees; we are all favorites."

Low Country and its affiliates employ about 50; another 25 contractors are involved, mostly on the trucking side. Key personnel include Freddie Hill, Marvin Cribb, Seth Hayden, daughters Wendy Adams and Renee Thompkins, son-in-law Greg Thompkins, grandson Travis Brown, Franklin Bessent, Paul Robinson, Ben Cromer, Travis Cork, Will Caulder, Ricky Smith, Jennifer McKnight and Pam Whalen. Many have been on board for 10 years or more; two of them since Young's contract trucking years when Nixon was in the White House. Employee turnover is relatively low. Although not on the firing line nowadays, spouse Linda spent many years on the paperwork side and could step back in with little difficulty if needed. She often travels with her husband of 48 years.

Young encourages Low Country employees to become active locally and allows them to bend their work schedules around such interests. For example, in addition to other community activities, Hill is board chairman of the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce. Cribb helps coach a high school football team and Hayden helps with the local Wild Turkey Federation Chapter. The Christmas Dinner Party is the much - anticipated event each year by LC employees, contract personnel and their spouses. Each person attending is presented with a gift and numerous door prizes are given away. Young adds his personal thanks to the catered meal and merriment.

Five chipping crews, all similarly equipped, are deployed. Four are owned by LC; the fifth is a contract operation. Four typically perform first thinning work in loblolly pine plantations - both industrial and private - while the fifth is assigned to hardwood stands. Very little grade log volume is generated. All crews usually operate within 100 miles of Georgetown. Trucking is contracted to several independents and is coordinated through Low Country headquarters. LC supplies and maintains the vans and requires its contract drivers to undergo training and truck owners to carry ample insurance. Cutting and handling equipment is a blend of Franklin, Tigercat and Prentice brands. Five three - knife Trelan chippers, drawing on Cat power, are on the front line and are backed by a spare Morbark unit. Branches and bark are removed by Peterson 4800 chain flail units outfitted with Peerless chain. Crews operate with five to seven employees, all of whom are certified in first aid, CPR and blood - borne pathogens. In addition to weekly on - site tailgate meetings for respective crews, quarterly safety meetings are held for all employees. Inspection results are shared at the larger meetings and prizes are handed out to reward accident - free accomplishments. Truck drivers are required to go through a daily safety checklist for trucks and vans. A drug testing program is administered by a third party for all truckers. The hardwood crew is the newest, starting up this year to help meet an expanded local IP market, one that became available with a twist. IP's fiber department wanted more hardwood chips but preferred to receive them during off - peak delivery hours after dark. Low Country agreed to buy extra chip vans and to spot loaded units near the wood yard gate during the day. Truck drivers return at night to reconnect to vans and move them inside the gate for dumping. The off - peak delivery arrangement appears to be working satisfactorily for both parties and mirrors the flexible thinking at both the mill and supplier levels. "IP had a need and we thought we could help the company meet it. That's the way we've approached this business from the beginning," explains Young.

From both a personal and business perspective, tragedy struck the Young household and business in July 2003. The Young's second daughter, Deanna (Dee) Avant, 39, suffered an acute attack of asthma and collapsed while at home. She was kept alive on life support for two days before she passed away. Although grieving, the family relied on their deep faith in God to pull them through a doubly tough period, as Dee was also a vital part of Low Country. As well, she left behind two young sons. However, Dee's memorial service was treated as a "Passover" celebration event attended by an estimated 700 friends and relatives. The following is a tribute to Dee:

In Memory

A Letter From Dee, To Family & Friends:

Oh, family and friends, don't despair.
For I'm in Heaven with Jesus, and it's so lovely up here.
The streets they are gold, the sea is like glass.
My mansion is beautiful, and for eternity it will last.
My body is perfect and beautiful, no more makeup or hairdos;
Just walking with Jesus and waiting for you.
Don't miss meeting Jesus and giving Him your life,
Because up here there is no stress and no strife -
Just worshiping our Father in this afterlife.
I love all of you and I desire you to be
Up here in Heaven, living with me.
Your time is appointed, we must all make a choice;
Either life with Jesus or all will be lost.
Encourage and help my husband and family to see
That Jesus is there to help them even better than me.
I wait on you all this beauty to see,
And spend eternity in Heaven with Jesus and me.

Written by Joe Young

Presented by him at Dee's memorial service, July 2003