The grand opening of Ag Processing Inc.’s (AGP) new soybean processing facility near Aberdeen was held July 17.
More than 300 people were at the grand opening of this, the largest project in AGP history, an investment of close to $300 million. The agribusiness AGP cooperative is 100 percent farmer-owned. This is AGP’s 10th facility, though its first in South Dakota. This is according to Kristin Wileman, press secretary for Governor Kristi Noem,
This facility will allow AGP to be able to process 150,000 bushels of soybeans per day. AGP will purchase an estimated 50-60 million bushels per year. This translates into about 1.2 million acres of soybeans from South Dakota, or 20% of South Dakota’s soybean production. AGP is projected to employ at least 60 full-time jobs that will include good pay, benefits, and a pension.
Wileman related that the economic impact of Agriculture has grown in South Dakota from $25.6 billion in 2014 to $32.5 billion, according to an economic contribution study conducted recently.
South Dakota Secretary of Agriculture Kim Vanneman and S.D. Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg also attended the grand opening event. Congressional delegates were represented by Aimee Kamp for Dusty Johnson, Judy Vrchota for John Thune, and Jen Hieb for Mike Rounds.
“I have long talked about agriculture as a national security issue,” said Noem. “It is incredibly important that in this country, we continue to grow our own food, and that we continue to have influence in regions where we market our grain, our meal, our bi-products and that we also produce fuel, as well. The more we do that, the more we stand on our own two feet, are independent and aren’t influenced by outside countries. The day we let another country grow our food for us is the day they control us.”
Specifying the grand opening, “Projects like this get me excited, because this is what I want to continue to see across the state. And while I had the opportunity to be involved in AGP’s plans for the future as a congresswoman, to be here as governor today and see all of you here excited about the tours and the future, I just want you to know how extremely proud I am.”