Independent Stave Company to Locate New Stave Mill in Morehead, Create 70 Jobs

Lt. Gov. Abramson breaks ground on new manufacturing facility that represents $10 million investment

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear today announced Independent Stave Company plans to locate a new stave mill in Morehead. The $10 million manufacturing operation will initially create 45 new, full-time jobs, growing to 70 within the first few years.

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson was on hand to break ground on the new facility, celebrating the news alongside company and community officials.

“Kentucky’s rich and storied history in the distillery industry makes for a perfect fit for Independent Stave Company and its products, which are in demand all across the world,” said Gov. Beshear. “The location of the company’s new stave mill will not only bring 70 new jobs and a $10 million investment to the community, but will complement our network of Bourbon and wine distillers across the Commonwealth.”

“This is truly an exciting day for Morehead, Rowan County and all of Kentucky, and I am thrilled with the construction of Independent Stave Company’s newest operation,” said Lt. Gov. Abramson. “Independent Stave Company is a family-owned business with more than a century of quality manufacturing under its belt. We are so pleased that Kentucky will be part of its manufacturing story for the next 100 years.”

Established in 1912, Independent Stave Company manufactures white oak staves and is currently the largest barrel manufacturer in the world, marketing products in over 19 countries. Independent Stave Company also provides staves to cooperages around the world. The new Morehead stave mill will allow the company to meet growing global demand for American white oak.

“It is our priority to support our customers’ growth by maintaining a consistent supply of high-quality American white oak, even as demand continues to increase,” said Brad Boswell, president and fourth-generation cooper. “Adding a new stave mill to our portfolio builds for the future and further ensures we have wood available for the industry.”

Every day, millions of people all over the world enjoy beverages aged in the company’s wine and whiskey barrels, he said.

Independent Stave Company carefully researched a location for the new stave mill before selecting Morehead as its final choice.

“Morehead is well situated near forests known for cooperage-quality white oak and also offers an excellent workforce – an ideal match,” said Boswell. “We look forward to becoming a contributing member of this community as we add this location to our corporate family.”

To encourage the investment and job creation in Rowan County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $950,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the term of the agreement through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

KEDFA also approved Independent Stave Company for tax benefits up to $54,000 through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing equipment.

“I want to extend my appreciation to Independent Stave for its investment in Rowan County, our region and the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Sen. Walter Blevins, of Morehead. “This $10 million investment will evolve into new jobs and new opportunities as well as boost our economic growth and development. It is exciting that American oak staves for bourbon barrels will be made right here in Rowan County. I must commend our region’s workforce because our skilled workers played a key role in attracting Independent Stave to Rowan County.”

“Rowan County has been working hard to attract new business and jobs to the region and Independent Stave is evidence of those successful efforts,” said Rep. Rocky Adkins, of Sandy Hook. “Being chosen as a location to expand Independent Stave underscores the message that eastern Kentucky is competitive because of our abundance of natural resources and great people. I expect that this $10 million investment will attract other companies looking to build, relocate or expand in Rowan County and throughout the region.”

“We are always pleased when a new company chooses Morehead to do business,” said Morehead Mayor David Perkins. “A company like Independent Stave is a welcome addition. We look forward to working with them for years to come to make the most out of their investment in our community.”

“I’m very pleased that Independent Stave Company has chosen our community for this investment,” said Rowan County Judge-Executive Jim Nickell. “It says a lot when a world-class company like this locates in your community. Their investment demonstrates what we already knew about our quality workforce and resources. The types of jobs Independent Stave Company will create are much needed in our county and region. We appreciate their investment in Rowan County.”

For more information on Independent Stave Company, visit

Rowan County has also been certified by the Kentucky Workforce Investment Board as a Work Ready in Progress Community. The certification is an assurance to business and industry that the community is committed to providing the highly skilled workforce required in today's competitive global economy.

A detailed community profile for Morehead (Rowan County) can be viewed here.

Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Watch the Cabinet’s “This is My Kentucky” video on YouTube.


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