A soybean processing facility in Hastings is expanding and adding jobs. AGP spokesman Matt Caswell says the project has long been in the works.
“This is an operation we’ve had on the ground, along with an oil refinery and an amino plus feed facility, since 1999,” Caswell says. “We’re pretty excited about the expansion. I would mark it as major and significant in terms of scope and scale.”
Caswell says the company now has a hundred employees in Hastings and the expansion will add to that number.
“You’re talking about a 10-to-15% increase in the number of employees in the area,” he says. “We’ll definitely need the help to operate the new equipment.”
Operations at the expanded facility are scheduled to start in the fall of 2016. Caswell says the expansion will allow AGP to better serve its overseas customers and with pending trade agreements, should lead to even more business in the future. The Hastings facility is the western-most soybean-processing plant in the country.
“We definitely have an advantage when we export out to the West Coast through our port in Washington state,” Caswell says. “We have a little over a 10-day shipping advantage to the Pacific Rim from that facility via rails.”
The Omaha-based AGP is owned by 178 local and regional cooperatives that represents more than a quarter-million farmers from 15 states.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton