RALTSON – West Central® Cooperative on June 3 announced its plan for a $27 million, multi-year project to increase soybean processing capacity by 50 percent and build additional grain storage at its Ralston complex. At full capacity, the expansion would create demand for an additional 6 million bushels of soybeans each year and create at least 11 fulltime jobs.
Like the current plant, the expansion will produce SoyPlus®, a high bypass protein dairy feed ingredient used across the world. “This plant expansion is important for our West Central stockholders and area growers as we demonstrate the difference with long-term investments that enhance demand, further diversify our business, and create opportunities to expand our global reach with additional volume,” explained West Central’s president and CEO, Milan Kucerak.
The company plans to increase the current plant’s capacity by up to 50 percent with actual production coming online in phases. When complete, the construction project would include an additional line of mechanical presses, soybean oil treatment, load-out access, and nearly 3 million bushels of additional soybean storage. New production volumes are slated to be available as early as fall 2016.
At full capacity, ten of the 11 new positions will be manufacturing roles. Company officials are looking to begin the hiring process for those jobs as early as this summer. “Our manufacturing staff are the key to success for our branded product line. Dairy customers trust SoyPlus for its proven quality and consistency,” said West Central’s executive vice president of animal nutrition Mark Cullen. “By bringing on hard-working, team-oriented employees before we even break ground, we can offer a robust training process in our current plant so our team is ready to deliver the same quality and consistency our customers expect when production in the expansion begins.”
West Central will host a job fair for SoyPlus manufacturing positions, as well as other company positions, at their main office in Ralston on Thursday, June 11, from 5 to 7 pm. During the event, staff will offer plant tours, accept applications, and conduct instant interviews. Applications are also available online now at http://west-central.com/about/careers/.