Pulse … it’s what’s for dinner and it’s also on the menu of value-added ag projects for central South Dakota.

South Dakota Pulse Processors LLC. holds its next meeting for potential investors today, Tuesday, Nov. 20, starting with a 12:30 p.m. meal in the Harrold gymnasium. Lentil soup and some other pulse products will be served, board president Tom Young said, after which a 1 p.m. meeting will give those interested a chance to learn more about the project. Supporters intend to build a plant in Harrold to process some of the area’s pulse crops – specifically, dry peas, lentils and chickpeas – for the export and domestic markets.

Supporters are hoping to raise from $1.5 million to $2 million to launch the project, and more toward that $2 million goal, if possible.

“We can get there at $1.5 million. But we would like to have a little more capital to add a few things right away, whether it be storage or looking for certifications from different organizations,” Young said. “Some of those things have a little more expense in them than we initially realized.”

Board member Brian Minish said the project is right at the halfway point for reaching the $1.5 million mark, and he said that’s the point at which a value-added ag project typically starts to pick up momentum.

“Once people see the train leaving the station, they’re in more of a hurry to jump on board,” Minish said, noting that many people who have verbally said they will invest have not yet dropped in the paperwork.

Pulse foods are a staple for people in many parts of the world, and the crops are already grown in central South Dakota, where the legumes add value to crop rotations by helping enrich soil and break up plant disease and insect cycles.

Project CEO Mat Chaudhry is already making plans to move to Pierre in 2013 to oversee the project.

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