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AGP holds grand opening for South Dakota soy plant

AGP holds grand opening for South Dakota soy plant
Facility will process more than 50 million bu. of soybeans annually and employ 60 people.

Agriculture cooperative Ag Processing Inc. (AGP) recently held a grand opening for its new soybean processing facility in Aberdeen, S.D. The facility, which is AGP’s 10th soybean processing location, was scheduled to begin commercial operations by the end of July. When fully operational, the facility will process more than 50 million bu. of soybeans annually.

The event was attended by representatives of several AGP member-owner cooperatives, major construction contractors on the project and many public and economic development officials from the state, Brown County and the Aberdeen community.

AGP chief executive officer Keith Spackler welcomed the attendees, saying, “The Aberdeen processing facility is a great fit with our overall business platform and with our mission to provide markets for producers’ soybeans, add value to those soybeans and generate competitive returns for our cooperative owners. These returns include direct support to soybean prices as well as patronage payments to our cooperative owners. We are proud of the benefits it brings to our member-owners and their farmer-owners, as well as to this community, county and state. That is our culture.”

Brad Davis, chairman of the AGP board of directors, spoke about the original investigative work and feasibility study that was undertaken and presented to the board, which allowed it to make the strategic decision to move forward on the project. Davis also highlighted the strong relationships AGP has built with state and local economic development officials and critical construction partners throughout the project.

AGP chief operating officer Cal Meyer said AGP built the facility “to provide protein and oil to growing domestic and international markets.”

“We will buy large volumes of soybeans in the area, supply soybean meal to regional feed mills and load unit trains of meal destined for export markets in the Pacific Rim. Additionally, we will ship crude soybean oil to our existing refineries to supply expanding food and renewable fuel markets.”

Overall, Meyer said the facility is well positioned to meet the growth while also providing good jobs, good pay and excellent benefits to more than 60 families in the Aberdeen community.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who was a part of the official program and spoke to the assembled crowd, said, “As governor and a lifelong producer, one of my top priorities is advancing agriculture. It’s a privilege to welcome AGP and its soybean processing facility to South Dakota.”

She added, “Bringing opportunities to add value to our farmers’ agricultural products right here in South Dakota is an important priority for me and my team. I am pleased AGP chose to help strengthen this industry by choosing Aberdeen.”

AGP said the soybean processing expansion is a natural extension of its existing processing and refining capacity and relationships in the region. The site in Aberdeen was selected based on numerous factors, including a readily available supply of soybeans, a stable workforce, solid infrastructure and transportation capabilities.

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