MILFORD — A new agricultural cooperative is moving into the area, and it’s doing it in a big way.
Trupointe Cooperative is spending $30 million to put in a fertilizer and grain facility north of Milford in Kosciusko County, right on the Elkhart County line, and construction is moving along nicely.
The site sits just east of S.R. 15, at the northeast corner of the intersection of the Norfolk Southern and CSX railroad lines. Trupointe operates in western Ohio and northeast Indiana, and its move here marks the group’s westernmost expansion.
“The Trupointe Cooperative board of directors and administration choose the Milford location due to the successful agriculture industry surrounding it and the crossing of two main railway lines. The railway lines give Trupointe multiple modes of transportation and access to water ports for international trade,” said Gary Snell, Trupointe vice president of supply operations. “It will bring continued growth and long-term sustainability for our members.”
Trupointe spent almost $1.97 million for the 275-acre site in late November, 2012, according to Kosciusko County records.
The co-op expects the facility to be a big benefit for the local area. According to the project site page, the construction phase should pump $6 million into the area economy.
Some 35 area companies have been employed for various parts of the job since it started in March.
Administration, service, liquid-fertilizer and dry-fertilizer buildings are all under construction right now. Construction crews are building a railroad loop on the site, and C.R. 100 E will receive major upgrades. C.R. 25 E, which lines up with Elkhart C.R. 23, has been cut off by the construction project.
“Using Indiana companies has been a priority since we started construction on our Milford facility,” Trupointe construction manager Tom Miller said in a written announcement Thursday, Sept. 12. “We wanted to use as many Indiana suppliers and contractors as we could because we understand the importance of a strong local and state economy. We are excited to be a part of Kosciusko County and want to be a good community partner.”
In the long term, it expects to employ upwards of 35 people at the facility. Most of those will be full-time workers from this area, and there will be some seasonal jobs, according to Trupointe.
When all is said and done, the site will have storage for 2 million gallons of liquid fertilizer and 37,000 tons of dry fertilizer, and farmers will be able to load up quickly, with 7-minute semitrailer load times for dry fertilizer and 17-minute load time for liquid fertilizer. Some liquid products will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The fertilizer portion of the operation is slated to open in 2014, and the grain elevator will follow. That’s still in the planning stages, said Kelly Braun of Trupointe’s communication team. The project site calls for 4.5 million bushels of grain storage on the site.
Trupointe is based in Piqua, Ohio, and has more than 30 locations in Ohio and Indiana. The cooperative was formed in 2010 by the merger of two cooperatives in western Ohio. Trupointe isn’t working with local North Central Co-op on the project, Braun said.