Local grain elevator completes $3.5 million expansion

Tornado Damage 3/13/2006

A local grain elevator expands after an F2 tornado ripped through the building 12 years ago Tuesday.

Marlin McCormick remembers March 13, 2006 like it was yesterday.

"I got up and the first thing I did was say some prayers and I just asked everyone to bear with us,” said General Manager Marlin McCormick.

McCormick had been working three years at Farmers Elevator and Exchange in Monroe City when an F2 tornado destroyed the co-op.

"We really found out what we were made of," said McCormick.

Fast forward ten years later - the elevator began planning a $3.5-million expansion.

"Rather than to build a new mill, we decided to add on to this one just to use some of our existing facilities that we had," said Livestock Consultant Ron Dean.

An expansion brought a new computer software system.

New equipment is now in place to reduce manual labor and to cater to the animals' needs.

McCormick said, "We want to be able to assist our producers to create the product that they need to be competitive in the marketplace both from a product quality stand point and a food safety standpoint."

The new mill equipment rationalizes feed depending on pigs' genetics.

"We're using individual ingredients to specialize that feed specifically for that animal," said Assistant Livestock Specialist Eulynn Keller.

The co-op will celebrate 100-years next summer.

"One of our young producers said you guys milled feed for my grandpa, you've changed buildings and you've milled feed for my dad and now you have made this expansion and you're moving forward to the future and you're making feed for me,” said Keller.

Just to give you some perspective on how far the company has come, producing 150-tons in a work day in 2003 was a huge undertaking.

Today the feed mill can produce an excess of 400-tons a day.

In 2017, sales were in excess of $17 million.

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