Roger and Lisa Sammons have been planning on building a pulse processing plant for a few years.  Their business model at Pardue Grain is that of a trans-loader and toll processor.  They believed that Montana needed more processing capacity so started planning for a pulse crop processing plant.  For the past 2 years they have been putting together the business plan with the help of the Great Falls Development Authority to attract the necessary capital.  First Interstate Bank agreed to finance the $6,000,000 project.  The USDA Rural Development have agreed to a 90{4c92fa2179cbca4bed3bb0c6c6ce267033d9d158a5f4060fb03bde3d74c11c2b} loan guarantee due to the location of the facility in a county with the highest unemployment rate and the jobs it will create.

 

The processing line will be state of the art with automation.  Roger is told that there is no other plant like it.  It is completely food grade with all product contact points only touching stainless steel or high grade polymer plastic.  Roger and Lisa’s hope is to attract domestic food ingredient companies that want to buy food grade pulse products.  Since they choose to be toll processors, they will process pulse and other crops including organics for anyone.  This allows producers the opportunity to go direct to end use markets if they want to develop their own brand.

 

The project started construction a short time ago.  Pardue has purchased everything from vendors in Montana.  They also purchased the elevator legs and stainless steel hoppers from Gerbers of Montana who recently made a big investment in a large machine/fabricating shop.  Construction is scheduled to be complete by October.  Once operational the plant is capable of processing 500 bushels an hour.  The processing line is fully automated and the software used to manage the inventory maintains unmatched traceability through the process.  If a producer wants to include the data from the farming operation, that data can follow with the crop to the bag or tote with that producers label.  Roger and Lisa hope these characteristics of the Pardue Grain processing plant will bring premium buyers to the facility.


Photo: Pardue Grain Inc.

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