January 20 2004

[b]Grain terminal opens at Highmore[/b]

Posted by Kim

Railroad siding into Farmers Union Co-op Elevator 's grain terminal site at Highmore.

By Lucy Halverson
Eugene Mertens, a Kennebec trucker, had the honor of dumping the first semi-truck load of milo at the Farmers Union Co-op Elevator's newly constructed grain terminal
on Monday, January 5. The 500,000-bushel terminal is located on the northeast side of Highmore off hwy. 14.

Todd Yeaton, transferred from the Chamberlain elevator, is manager at the Highmore site. A bookkeeper, a scale operator, and three outside workers are also employed.

Yeaton stated they are currently filling a 100-car train with milo. Milo from the Co-op's elevators at Kennebec and Chamberlain plus grain bought from other elevators will fill the train by Wednesday night. The terminal is also receiving winter wheat.

Around 15 truckers from the Kennebec, Reliance, Chamberlain, Hamill, and Platte area are currently hauling between 50 to 60 semi-truck loads, around 45,000 to 50,000 bushel per day to the terminal. According to Mertens, he's averaging 3 trips per day between the Kennebec Elevator and the Highmore site. Mertens stated that dumping at the new site is fast if there isn't a line of trucks waiting to dump, "I went from scale to dumping back to scale in 6 minutes."

Yeaton stated that the terminal expects to fill between 200 and 300-grain cars per month, depending on the availability of cars.

The Co-op in partnership with Cenex/Harvest States of St. Paul, MN and the Regional Rail Authority built the terminal and railroad siding. Additional funding came from a Community Development Block Grant, Industrial Park Development Grant, Rural Electric Economic Development fund, SD Railroad Trust fund, and Wells Fargo Bank of Chamberlain.

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