Montana Specialty Mills LLC announced this week it is breaking ground on its new $20 million, 20-acre processing center today at the Great Falls Montana Development Authority’s AgriTech Park. The new facility, expected to be completed by the fall of 2018, will feature state-of-the-art grain processing equipment dedicated to making non-genetically modified organism (GMO) products and organic oilseeds.
As experts in oilseed crushing and mustard processing, Montana Specialty Mills has operated a plant that has been in existence in Great Falls for more than 70 years. The Great Falls Montana Development Authority worked closely with the agricultursl production company to identify a facility with rail access that could accommodate the company’s growth.
The relocation of the facility is providing Montana Specialty Mills with an opportunity to expand in markets like non-GMOs, organic vegetable oils and protein meals. The company’s workforce is also growing. It currently employs 15 full-time workers and is seeking to add 10 more for its new location.
“We chose our new location in the AgriTech Park because it has the infrastructure, subdivision and zoning already in place for us,” said Steve Chambers, president and chief executive officer of Montana Specialty Mills. “Being able to build immediately and not worry about anything else has saved us a lot of time and money.”
The 197-acre AgriTech Park, which opened in 2016 and is owned by the development authority, offers customized, heavy industrial lots ranging in size from seven to 300-plus acres. It’s the region’s first industrial park to offer ready-to-build lots with access to utilities and rail.
“Creating a shovel-ready, rail-served heavy industrial park had been a goal of ours for years,” said Brett Doney, president of the Great Falls Montana Development Authority. “We see many opportunities not just in agricultural processing but in energy-related manufacturing, distribution and logistics. We are happy to see companies like Montana Specialty Mills realizing the potential of the space.”
The development authority invested more than $8 million in the construction of AgriTech Park. Earlier this year, the site's rail system was given an Excellence in Regional Transportation Award by the National Association of Development Organizations and was certified by BNSF Railway as part of its Premier Parks Program.
Five lots of land are still available at the AgriTech Park; each lot comes shovel ready with full railway access and water, sewage, electricity and gas utilities.