Arbor Day Tree Planting Event Honors the Legacy of John Guthrie of Stone County

April 29, 2022, Stone County, Mississippi— Stone County Economic Development Partnership (SCEDP) and Adranos, Inc. held an Arbor Day tree planting ceremony to honor the life and legacy of timber pioneer John Guthrie of Stone County.

Mr. Guthrie, a longtime forester and advocate for the timber industry in Stone County, passed away February 4, 2022. After serving as a trained fighter pilot in World War II in the Air Force, Mr. Guthrie graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Forestry in 1948. It was at Purdue that Mr. Guthrie created a prototype mechanical tree planter. Soon after, John and his wife Randalin moved to Mississippi, eventually settling in Wiggins. Guthrie was nicknamed “Johnny Pinetree” as a result of his promotion of forestry and tree planting. He established John Guthrie and Sons in 1954 and became the first licensed forester in the state, serving with the Society of American Foresters for 73 years.

The ceremony took place at the industrial park that houses solid rocket motor manufacturer Adranos, Inc., which expanded its rocket motor production and research and development operations to Stone County just over a year ago. The company’s companion facility where its aluminum-lithium alloy solid rocket fuel is being developed is located near Purdue University in Indiana, where Guthrie attended college.

“We are proud to honor John Guthrie’s legacy of entrepreneurship and commitment to the Stone County community,” said Michael Grasso, Vice President of Space Systems and Government Relations at Adranos. “Mr. Guthrie was a pioneer in forestry who established his home in Mississippi after attending Purdue University. Like Mr. Guthrie, Adranos has its academic roots at Purdue and similarly found its way to Stone County, where it intends to grow into one of America’s leading suppliers of rocket propulsion systems.”

This week Adranos announced investors have secured $20 million for increased production and additional employees, which will lead to future growth in the company’s operations in Stone County.

“Stone County is thrilled to partner with Adranos to recognize the legacy of John Guthrie on this 150th anniversary of Arbor Day,” said Betsy M. Rowell, Stone County Economic Development Executive Director. “Mr. Guthrie brought timber innovations to Stone County through his education at Purdue, leading to today’s plentiful wood basket. Adranos is likewise bringing rocket innovations to this area with their partnership with Purdue. Today is a celebration of these businesses and their innovative contributions to Stone County.”

During the ceremony, local leaders recognized the accomplishments of Mr. Guthrie while showcasing the new and growing rocket production taking place at Adranos in McHenry. Local businesses Green Forest Nursery, Jack’s Plant and Patio, and Cade Ganey Lawncare all assisted in the planting ceremony.