Value-added agriculture is getting a big boost from Mid-Iowa Cooperative’s new business ventures that are spurring economic development in rural Iowa, from state-of-the-art grain facilities to livestock feed milling.
A new partnership between Mid-Iowa and Sinclair Elevator (and affiliates) in east-central Iowa will include:
o 750,000 tons per year of feed manufacturing capacity;
o More than 2.3 million bu. of grain storage, and
o A key role in the agronomy input segment.
Mid-Iowa Cooperative and the owners of Sinclair Elevator (and affiliates) have signed a definitive purchase agreement to complete Mid-Iowa’s investment in Sinclair’s grain, feed and crop chemical business interests near Parkersburg, Iowa. Mid-Iowa has purchased an initial minority equity stake in a number of affiliated companies known collectively as Sinclair Elevator, with future options to purchase additional equity, with the right to eventually own all of Sinclair and its affiliated companies.
The companies plan to close on this investment transaction on Feb. 28.
“I’ve known the folks who own and manage the Sinclair operation for many years and have the utmost respect for the business they’ve built,” said Mike Kinley, chief executive officer of Mid-Iowa, a full-service, member-owned cooperative headquartered in Conrad, Iowa, that serves farmers throughout central and east-central Iowa. “Like Mid-Iowa, they’ve built their business on long-term relationships deeply rooted in trust and integrity. It’s an honor to partner with folks who share this culture and know how to add value for their customers.”
Roger Baker has owned Sinclair Elevator since 1979. During that time, the company survived an EF5 tornado in 2008 that nearly destroyed the grain elevator, agronomy services and feed mill. The decision to rebuild surprised a number of people, but Baker and his team were loyal to their producer customers and decided to reinvest in the company. They didn’t replace some of the full-service agronomy capabilities but did expand upon the grain and milling assets.
These facilities, along with Sinclair’s talented team members, complement Mid-Iowa’s asset base as well as the cooperative’s commitment to add more value to farmers’ grain. “The opportunities for both companies to grow together are tremendous,” Kinley said.
Baker agreed, saying, “I’ve known about Mid-Iowa for years, and they have a reputation for building and maintaining first-class grain facilities.”
Mid-Iowa’s most recent expansion into this trade area started in 2017 north of Grundy Center with the construction of the cooperative’s new Mill Junction facility. The Mill Junction location will be one of the larger grain facilities of its kind in Iowa when it becomes operational in September 2018. The location will include 3.55 million bu. of grain storage in phase 1 and modern grain-handling equipment that can handle 40,000 bu. per hour.
“Once I heard about that new Mill Junction elevator, I got to thinking about what it could do for our feed customers and the producers we buy grain from,” Baker said. “It’s all about being competitive.”
Sinclair has one of the most modern, large feed mills in Iowa, with the capability to produce more than 750,000 tons of feed annually. This fits well with Mid-Iowa, which has specialized in grain origination and grain marketing for decades.
Mid-Iowa is attracted to all aspects of Sinclair’s portfolio, and the company has always wanted to find a way to get tied-in further down the supply chain. “We found a way to make this a real win-win, and that’s why the investment made sense for our member-owners,” Kinley said. “We look forward to adding even more value to local grain and supporting economic development in rural Iowa through these new business ventures.”