Lynn Gastineau, owner of Gastineau Log Homes of New Bloomfield, returned home from China Tuesday after signing a contract in Shanghai, China, to export precut oak log homes to China.
Gastineau accompanied Gov. Jay Nixon and other state officials on the Governor's Trade Mission to China from Oct. 22 to Oct. 29. On the trade mission, Missouri reached an agreement to sell $4.4 billion worth of products, mostly Missouri-produced grain, to China during the three-year period starting next year.
She hopes the export deal with the Chinese firm will be a boost to her business that has been hurt by the 2007 collapse of new home construction in the United States.
Gastineau said Tuesday Gastineau Log Homes is the world's largest producer of precut oak log homes. She said her firm has homes built in all 50 states in the United States and in 10 other nations scattered around the world.
About a year ago, she was approached by a Chinese builder who wanted to buy oak precut log homes to assemble and sell in China.
"He had heard about us and came to us. He especially liked the fact that we build our log homes with oak lumber. Oak will last for 100 to 200 years. Oak logs do not have to be pressure-treated with chemical preservatives. That is a big selling point in our homes," Gastineau said.