After 16 months of construction, Alliance Feed LLC is starting up at its $12.4 million, state-of-the-art feed mill in Columbia City, Ind.
Alliance Feed is a joint venture between Columbia City grain facility Farmer’s Grain & Feed Co. and Co-Alliance LLP, a cooperative partnership headquartered in Avon, Ind.
The mill’s operation represents a potential diversification opportunity for area farmers, the company said in an announcement. Alliance Feed is actively seeking local producers to manage wean-to-finish hog operations.
“Adding a wean-to-finish hog barn to an existing operation is a great way for a farmer to diversify,” said Chris Kenyon, director of eastern operations for Alliance Feed. “Not only does it add an extra source of income, [but] it also optimizes fertilizer costs and allows a younger generation of farmers to get their start and build a history.”
Alliance Feed said its strategic location will allow more partnering opportunities with both growers and producers. Regionally manufactured feed supports farmers on two levels: (1) giving grain farmers another market for their crop and (2) giving livestock farmers a consistent, quality and local source for their feed.
According to the company, at capacity, the mill will utilize 6 million bu. of locally grown corn annually, and about 13 people will be employed to handle daily mill operations, with an increased number during the busy harvest season.
The Alliance Feed mill design is based on the Co-Alliance feed mill in Reynolds, Ind., which currently produces 275,000 tons to feed more than 800,000 pigs annually.
Local industry leaders, community members and other guests were invited to tour the facility at a grand opening celebration prior to the business opening last week.
“The support of the community has been important to us,” Farmer's Grain president Terry Shively said. “Our family history is rooted in agriculture, and we’re proud to soon produce livestock feed for local farmers from the grain they store at our facility.”
The venture began in August 2017, when Co-Alliance and Farmer's Grain signed a letter of intent to build the Columbia City feed mill. At the time, the companies said the joint venture would allow Co-Alliance to expand its pork presence in the area and give Farmer's Grain the opportunity to vertically integrate its grain into feed production.
The new feed mill operation combines the swine and animal nutrition expertise of Co-Alliance and the local grain storage and marketing capabilities of Farmer's Grain to create new opportunities for area producers.
“The completion of the Alliance Feed mill will help families in the community for generations. We’re excited to be working with the Shively family and Farmer’s Grain on this exciting new venture for area farmers,” Co-Alliance chief executive officer Kevin Still said.
Co-Alliance LLP is a partnership of cooperatives with community roots established in the 1920s. It has 50 locations across Indiana, Michigan and Ohio that serve the areas of energy, agronomy, grain marketing and swine and animal nutrition.
Farmer's Grain & Feed is one of the oldest grain buying corporations in northeastern Indiana, with beginnings in the early 1950s. It currently has six grain elevators in eastern Indiana.