Minot News

New Elevator to Handle Organic Crops

Bowbells, ND - A Minneapolis-based company focusing on bringing organic and non-GMO foods to market has broken ground for a new elevator in northwest North Dakota.

Pipeline Foods is constructing a grain terminal  - a few miles north of Bowbells in Burke County.
Plus, this summer Pipeline Foods purchased the elevator in Lignite, 20 miles to the west of Bowbells.

Jim Olson was in both towns today to find out about the new business.

The heavy equipment is working near Bowbells for a new facility, while actual grain-elevator business is happening here in Lignite.

(Shawn Wynecoop, Pipeline Foods Lignite Manager)  "We're getting a lot of product coming through here."

Shawn Wynecoop manages the Lignite shop - an admittedly aging elevator

(Shawn Wynecoop, Pipeline Foods Lignite Manager)  "Definitely old."

But a place that's humming with activity.

(Shawn Wynecoop, Pipeline Foods Lignite Manager)  "We're running 28 to 30+ trucks that we're dumping here a week."

What makes this different is the crops flowing through - they are certified organic.

(Dan Folske, Burke Co. Extension Agent)  "Kind of a brand new idea almost within the organic industry."

County Agent Dan Folske says he's happy to see the effort to capitalize on what he sees as a growing market, and providing a standard elevator-type arrangement for farmers growing organic crops.

(Dan Folske, Burke Co. Extension Agent)  "...a great deal for the small producer that doesn't have to spend all that time marketing trying to sell one or two semi loads here and there.

Folske says there are economic benefits for the small towns too.

(Dan Folske, Burke Co. Extension Agent)  "It will be an impact on property taxes on the facility and six to eight jobs between here and Lignite."

But all of the crops flowing through the Pipeline Foods elevator in Lignite come from Canada.

(Dan Folske, Burke Co. Extension Agent)  "there's few - actually none in Burke County that is certified. But southern Saskatchewan has a lot of organic producers
(Shawn Wynecoop, Pipeline Foods Lignite Manager)  "All the stuff right now is coming from Canada - not many if any organic growers in the area."

The location along rail lines and a busy international highway is perfect to handle the Canadian-grown crops headed for the US market.
And both men are hopeful thePipeline Foods's investments in the new elevator

(Shawn Wynecoop, Pipeline Foods Lignite Manager)  "It's a modern facility. Very automated. Clean."

will spur more interest among North Dakota farmers to make the admittedly difficult move to growing certified organic crops over the next few years. Jim Olson, KX News.

The new elevator is scheduled to be open for business by the end of next summer.

More Stories

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center