Wheat Growers Celebrate Kennebec Elevator Opening

Kelly MarshallAgribusiness, wheat

Wheat GrowersThe grand opening of the Wheat Growers‘ Kennebec Elevator drew patrons, guests, and even the South Dakota Secretary of State, Shantel Krebs.  Attendees gave high marks to the new facility.

The state-of-the-art shuttle loader facility has a rail shipping capacity of 80,000 bushels per hour and a 110-car circle track. That, combined with a total truck receiving capacity of 60,000 bushels per hour, gives the Kennebec Elevator the fastest dumping speeds in the industry. The new site has a total grain storage capacity of 4.08 million bushels. The Kennebec location is served by Dakota Southern Railroad that operates on the 41-mile, rehabilitated Chamberlain to Presho heavy-rail line.

“This grand opening marks the completion of a promise Wheat Growers made two years ago when we went before a legislative committee in Pierre and promised to build this facility if rail improvements were made to the Chamberlain to Presho line,” Dale Locken, Wheat Growers CEO says. “The elevator and agronomy center will deliver additional value and a high level of service to farmers in Brule and Lyman counties and beyond.”

“Thanks to the efforts of all the people involved in this project, the Kennebec Elevator and Agronomy Center was completed on time and on budget,” Hal Clemensen, Wheat Growers Board President, says. “We also want to thank Rails to the Future, the South Dakota Legislature, the Railroad Board and Department of Transportation for their commitment to the rehabilitation of the rail line that helped make this day possible.”

The Kennebec Agronomy Center has been operating since the completion of the first phase in February.  The grand opening marks the final completion of the $40 million project.