General Mills sells Idaho grain elevators
By John O’Connell
Officials with a company that is buying all of General Mills’ Idaho grain operations say they intend to increase storage and handling capacity of the elevators.
Agspring, LLC, of Kansas City, Kan., intends to complete the transaction by May, purchasing General Mills grain elevators in Pocatello, Rockford, American Falls, Newdale, Blackfoot, and Idaho Falls, as well as the Schiller Siding facility in Power County. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We’re prioritizing other opportunities within our supply chain,” said General Mills spokeswoman Bridget Christenson.
Agspring officials said the facilities will continue to be managed locally, with corporate support, financial backing and supply chain planning assistance from their company. Agspring also plans to improve the efficiency of the operations.
“We plan to upgrade and expand as needed to utilize the facilities to their full potential. While this is an addition to our portfolio, the real benefit is to farmers in Idaho and customers of the grain operation,” said Brad Clark, Agspring president. “Our intent is to enhance operations and provide efficiencies, such as improved grain delivery for farmers and expanded market access for their grain.”
General Mills will continue to utilize local farmers’ grain, but Agspring will also supply other customers, Clark said.
“Further detail is pending the close of the transaction,” Clark said.
Clark said the purchase was intended to lend his company more geographic diversity.
“The purchase is a strategic addition and core to the business we’re building,” Clark said.
Clark said his company is committed to continuing General Mills’ successes in building a “unique value-added system in partnership with seed suppliers, producers and customers, all with an increased focus on sustainability.”
Gordon Gallup, an Idaho Wheat Commissioner who farms in Ririe and supplies wheat to General Mills, said growers have been pleased to see that Agspring has already been aggressive in the market.
Gallup doubts much will change in the short-term for Idaho growers who supply General Mills but believes the company’s preliminary plans bode well for grain farmers.
“They’re building up infrastructure in Idaho and updating all of the facilities,” Gallup said. “More capacity is what they’re looking at, and if they build capacity, they’re going to have a reason for it.”