A new full service agronomy center is taking root in Steele.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin has details on this new business that will soon be opening its doors.
From Napoleon to Hazelton one local co-op is expanding its presence in the south central part of the state and the new soon to be location is Steele.
(Nick Breidenbach / General Manager) "Steele will be a full service agronomy center where we can provide seed sales, chemical sales and we will put up a fertilizer plant their eventually. We will have liquid fertilizer available to customers. We are looking to partner with two firms up there to offer anhydrous sales as well."
In 2010 Farmers Union Oil Company of Napoleon became Central Dakota Frontier Cooperative.
In the past 2 years the co-op has also acquired the Farmers Union Oil Companies in Wishek and Hazelton.
(Roger Bettenhausen - Director of Agronomy)"We purchased Farmers Union Oil Company of Hazelton, which included the c store truck stop, other agronomy center and we are building an agronomy center building there a new one and upgrading the fertilizer facility to be at one central location. We will be spending close to a million dollars there when we are all done as an upgrade just to that facility."
Nick Breidenbach is the DFC General Manager.
Breidenbach says in the past 4 years DFC has grown from an 18 million dollar company to a 44 million dollar co-op.
(Nick Breidenbach / General Manager)"In Napoleon we built the facility we are in today. So this agronomy center is a half a million dollar investment. Tied to that we built a new fertilizer plant just south of town and invested about a half million dollars there. In infrastructure, rolling stock assets we probably invested another 1/2 million dollars. In Wishek we tied about 2 million dollars into that refurbish."
Breidenbach says the biggest struggle of this growing company is finding more staff to keep up with the growth.
(Nick Breidenbach / General Manager)"We have 3 full time well paying positions today that we could bring new people into our organization, so we are constantly looking for ways to draw people to the small communities that we serve."
The Steele location will be on the north side of the interstate at the Robinson Exit.
Breidenbach says a portable office will open within the month with construction starting this spring.