Moberly Group Raising Equity for Crush Plant
Producer Tax Credit Helps Fuel Positive Early Results
When he heard story after story about non-GMO soybeans getting shipped to California for further processing, Jim Beckley, a farmer-producer from Clarence, saw an opportunity.
As consumer demand for non-GMO foods continues its annual double-digit growth rate, many Missouri farmers have responded by switching to non-GMO crop production. However, there are no local marketplaces for non-GMO soybean processing, forcing most farmers to ship across the country.
“We have an established built-in supply chain partner all around us,” Beckley said, referencing the members of the Premium Ag Products co-op headquartered in Clarence, which devotes more than 20,000 acres to non-GMO crops. “With the growth of consumer demand, we see non-GMO meat production as the next big wave.”
To that end, Beckley’s group, called MoberlyNaturalCrush (MNC), has begun the proce
ss of raising equity to re-tool an existing “crush” facility in Moberly.
Helping spur investment and job growth in rural communities, the group has received a contingent allocation of a $1.5 million tax credit for farmer-producer-investors from the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority. In total, MNC is attempting to raise $4 million. Depending on the percentage of equity raised through farmer-producers, Beckley expects that 40-to-50% of each investment will be paid back immediately in the form of the tax credit.
In Moberly sits the infrastructure of what was to be a state-of-the-art soybean processing plant. Originally set up in 2010 to feed oil to an adjacent biodiesel facility, the plant was never made operable, and the business transitioned to new ownership.
The facility’s size and scale make it ideal for the niche of non-GMO and Organic soybean processing. It will use the “Natural” process of heat and physical pressure to separate the soybean oil from the meal. (Note: Hexane extraction is not allowed in Organic processing, and many groups consider the chemical process to be incongruous to non-GMO marketing.)
“Building a new marketplace and receiving the tax credit is a win-win for all Missouri farmers,” Beckley said. “We need to get the word out to as many producers as possible. We need to make this happen.”
For more information regarding the investment opportunity, please contact Pat Conners at 314-809-9499, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.