The Starland Seed Cleaning Plant has undertaken an ambitious fundraising effort to replace and upgrade the plant in Delia and has extended the date for investors.
The Mail reported of the Starland Seed Cleaning Plant’s plans to build a new plant in the August 19, 2020 edition.
A consultant has been hired for the project, and the plans include a larger plant to handle larger transport vehicles and possibly expand into a value-added component, including cleaning grains for export. The estimated value of the project is in the area of $5 million.
So far their campaign has been going well, and they have raised in the area $1.2 million from investors from more than 70 farm investors, and the six Hutterite colonies in Starland. This equates to over 240,000 acres of cultivated land or 57% of the land base in Starland County.
Starland Seed Cleaning Plant secretary, Al Hampton, tells the Mail they are close to their investor goal and need approximately $250,000 more investor share equity. They are also talking to the County and Special Areas about possible bridge funding and talking to banks for the project.
“It is a community project, and for as big as it is, it has to be. We have a lot of people involved and a lot of shareholders. We need a little bit of everybody, and we are definitely on the right path,” said Hampton. “I think we have a good chance to get this launched, but to do it right, we have to hit our targets.”
They have extended its dates for investment to April 16.
“When you are dealing with shareholder money, you have to be frivolous,” he said
Hampton explains the project could have larger effects on the community.
“This will be more of an agribusiness, it will definitely have more on the service side with the seed cleaning plant,” he said. “To make it a successful business it is going to have a commercial component. We can do some export grain, we can work with some line companies to do some farm contracts and work with specialty crops, and even expand specialty crops within the area. It’s a multilayered proposition, not just a seed plant,” he said.
There is also a possibility of more employment.
“Let’s see if we can put together a project that can be good for the community, create a little bit of employment, and potentially it is a stepping stone to some bigger economic development possibilities in the county,” said Hampton.
“This project will employ six or seven people, and if it grows, up to 10. It’s not huge, but if you have a new school sitting in Delia, maybe you could get a couple of young families there, and that helps.”