Rural Entrepreneurs

USA Gypsum Receives Outstanding Green Small Business Award

Thu, 2012-09-13 10:33

CMRA member USA Gypsum was honored as this year's recipient for Outstanding Green Small Business award given by The SCORE Foundation and sponsored by Office Depot. SCORE - mentors to America's small business. USA Gypsum was honored for demonstrating unique vision, innovation and achievement as an Outstanding Green Small Business.

Breaking New Ground Reinholds Business Lauded for its Work to Turn Drywall Scraps Into Soil Treatment Products. - Cathy Molitoris

Mon, 2012-09-10 09:22

Terry Weaver has found a special way to turn scraps into success.

He's the president of USA Gypsum, a Reinholds company that recycles drywall trimmings into soil-treatment products.

Farmer Innovates on Meat Sales to Consumers

Fri, 2012-08-24 09:36

Nathan Moomaw is a new farmer who is translating his business plan from paper to reality.  With the help of advisers, he has developed a unique business model -- a year-round community-supported agriculture operation for meat.

Moomaw developed a comprehensive business plan and recently vetted it with business advisers at SCORE, a nonprofit association of volunteer mentors that helps small businesses get off the ground.

Sales at my specialty toy store are extremely seasonal, with the vast majority of revenue
coming in the last quarter of the year. Surviving until the holidays has long been a challenge.
What can I do to make the rest of the year less of a high-wire act?

Sales at my specialty toy store are extremely seasonal, with the vast majority of revenue
coming in the last quarter of the year. Surviving until the holidays has long been a challenge.
What can I do to make the rest of the year less of a high-wire act?  Read more.....

Steve Strauss, founder of, explains what makes a business contract valid and gives tips for entering into one correctly.

Q: I have been doing business with a guy for a few years. Last month, I found someone who offers what he has been selling me for a lot less and so I severed our relationship. He now informs me that we have a “contract” and that I am obligated to give him 60 days' notice. That cannot be right, can it?



Agri Marketing Inc. dba USA Gypsum Increases Profits After Taking Advice From SCORE Mentor

Agri Marketing, Inc. dba USA Gypsum was formed in 1998 to meet the need for gypsum drywall recycling and agricultural gypsum products.  The company receives gypsum scraps commonly called drywall, sheetrock, wallboard, plasterboard or gypsum board from the construction industry and using proprietary methods, the drywall scrap is transformed into natural gypsum products that are used for lawns or agricultural purposes.  The gypsum provides a low cost remedy for acid, sodic, and erosion prone soils.   The benefits are obvious - discarded drywall is recycled into useful products instead of going to a landfill, and the output results in reduced costs to farmers and building contractors.

President and General Manager, Terry L. Weaver has over 25 years of experience in construction and agri business, specializing in agricultural gypsum.  Together with Richard G. Sauder, Recycling Project Manager & Corporate Treasurer, they have dedicated the company’s focus to opportunities that respect three bottom lines: social prosperity, environmental stewardship, and profitability.  With these goals in mind, the company makes generous monthly donations to the Water Street Mission and World Vision Micro.

Terry L. Weaver
My Location
Reinholds PA
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

In collaboration with SCORE mentor Lou Davenport, the management team of USA Gypsum has significantly increased the company’s profitability as well as decreasing its reliance on debt.  As mentor Lou Davenport says, USA Gypsum “is a great example of how a good business idea, combined with a fine work ethic and continuous business process improvement can all combine into a successful business that serves both market and community needs.”

How SCORE Helped

Lou Davenport assisted the USA Gypsum team in conducting R&D to develop new products for recycled gypsum board that could generate a Gross Profit Margin % of Sales necessary to build a sustainable business model.  Together they analyzed every aspect of the company's financial structure and secured new loans that would help put the company on stable footing well into the future.  Five years later, the team continues to meet with Lou to constantly re-evaluate and perfect their business model.

Cloud 9 Ranch Relies has On-Going Relationship With SCORE

For 40 years, Cloud 9 Ranch Club, Inc. has been celebrating the beauty, excitement and fun of the Ozark mountains of Southern Missouri. The ranch covers over 6,300 acres of natural resources and feels like a cross between a small town and a resort community. It is a not-for-profit family camping resort once owned by a group of investors which transitioned to a member-owned corporation during a re-organization in 1998.  For the next ten years the ranch waivered between great successes and heartbreaking lows.  In 2009, during a period of turnover in management, poor employee morale, and owner discontent, Gene Muenks was elected President of the corporation’s governing Board of Directors.  Gene recognized the need for outside assistance to bring the ranch back to what it had once been and through a member forum learned about SCORE.  Together a team of 3 SCORE mentors and several members of the management and Boards of Directors of Cloud 9 worked tirelessly to bring a glorious place to explore, seek adventure and relax back to the beautiful Ozarks.

My Location
Caulfield MO
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

This family camping resort includes a restaurant, convenience store, laundry services, gas station, stables, horseback riding, cattle, ATV trails, rentals for its owners and guests, and 6 full service hook-up RV campgrounds. 

Through renewed marketing efforts the ranch has helped to ride the wave of seasonality by promoting activities like deer hunting and special events, to increase revenues during typically off-season months.

In 2011, the ranch increased yearly revenue by select cutting trees in a logging program.  The process of select cutting allowed them to preserve the natural beauty of the park and still take advantage of thinning the trees that were already dead or dying.  With proper forestry instruction, the trees were harvested before they lost complete value.    

Although Cloud 9 Ranch’s progress is ongoing and they still sometimes meet with occasional cash flow issues, under the skilled leadership of general manager Coy Jackson and with continued guidance from SCORE, the ranch has changed the way business is being handled in the day-to-day operations – for the better. 

What's Great About My Mentor?

As with many small businesses stuck in a rut, the marketing efforts of Cloud 9 had hit a slump.  SCORE mentors sought to correct this and grow revenues by adding a position of “Events Coordinator and Marketing Director” to the staff.  A creative marketing plan was devised to promote the ranch with minimal costs through a full event program.  The program proved to be extremely successful and resulted in nearly 400 new memberships in 2011, compared to just 4 new memberships the prior year.

In 2010, the SCORE team also aided extensively with the search for a new General Manager for the ranch.  This new appointment was critical in overseeing many of the other positive changes SCORE assisted with within the organization including implementing a better cost accounting system, re-evaluating the ranch’s fee structure and developing an employee flow chart. Through a rigorous search process, Cloud 9 hired Coy Jackson as General Manager and it has turned out to be a perfect fit.  For the last 3 years, Coy has enacted continuous improvements to the ranch's operations.

How SCORE Helped

SCORE has an ongoing relationship with the Cloud 9 Ranch leadership and continues to offer advice in corporate financial issues and ways to improve its infrastructure and employee–managerial relations.

General Manager Coy Jackson, reflected on SCORE’s impact on the organization saying, “I would recommend any size business and anyone planning a business to have SCORE as a part of the operation and use them on a regular basis.”

FREE - Accion and Yelp Presenting a Small Business Connections Workshop on June 16 in Austin

Sat, 2012-06-16 23:06

As an Accion Austin Partner, Austin SCORE is pleased to make known a
Free Yelp and Accion's Small Business Connections workshop
overing Online Marketing and Microfinance

Are you a small business owner looking for online marketing, social media, or financing advice? The Small Business Connections workshop will help entrepreneurs better understand:
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