During a Nobles County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Administrator Tom Johnson said one of the sites the company is considering is in Round Lake.
“They’ve identified a site with Crystal Valley Co-op,” Johnson said of the Round Lake option. The county’s role will be to determine if an incentive such as tax abatement can be offered to lure NFP to construct the feed mill in Round Lake. Commissioners on Tuesday agreed to spend up to ,160 for Northland Securities Inc. to develop a proposal for assistance.
Brad Freking, CEO of NFP, said the company has been working on the design for a new feed mill for the past two years. If everything falls into place, he’d like to see construction begin next April, with completion by the end of 2018.
Freking said he has asked Nobles County for a level playing field. The company has identified two potential sites in Jackson County as well.
“Because these projects are such long-term investments, taxes do become a significant consideration as to where you locate these projects,” Freking said
The company already has one feed mill in Nobles County — the Nutri-Pro feed mill in Worthington — as well as mills in Estherville and Jewell, Iowa, and Switz City, Ind.
Round Lake Mayor Doug Knuth said Tuesday he’s excited about the potential for NFP to construct a feed mill in the community. The proposed site is on the east side of Rohrer Street, in the same location where the old grain elevator was torn down in recent years.
“I’m excited if we can get another business in town,” Knuth said. “It will not only help the city, but other businesses in town — especially through the construction process.”
Knuth said the city has met with NFP numerous times and is willing to work with Nobles County to do what it can to bring the feed mill to Round Lake.
A graduate of Round Lake High School, Freking said he likes the idea of building in Round Lake because it’s his home — not to mention that it would be a great economic boost to the community.
The feed mill, once constructed, will have approximately eight to 10 employees, and would create additional ancillary jobs.
“We use a lot of inputs,” Freking said. “You’d have a significant increase in the amount of truck traffic. Those guys always buy fuel and like the C-stores.
“I think the big advantage for the community in general is it will create a very viable market for corn growers,” he added. “The current corn market in Round Lake — it all has to be trucked out; there’s no rail service. We’ll significantly enhance the corn market for local farmers.”
All of the corn that would be marketed to the NFP feed mill would be processed into swine feed.
Freking said in addition to the mill, NFP plans to have 700,000 bushels of corn storage on site.
“We’ll look at, over time, the opportunity to add to that if it’s the right market conditions to do that,” he added.
With construction estimated to take eight months, Freking said he’d like a response from Nobles County as soon as possible.
“To design and construct a feed mill takes a tremendous amount of lead time,” he said. “The sooner we get an answer, the sooner we can get those guys to work on pre-building the feed mill.
“We believe it’s a great opportunity for the city of Round Lake, Nobles County and the local farmers,” Freking added. “The request we’re asking for is just a level playing field.”