ANSELMO --- The Andersons, Inc., officially opened their newly constructed 3.8 million bushel elevator in Custer County Aug. 27, celebrating the event with a formal ribbon cutting, speeches, and then dinner.
“Opening the largest elevator in Custer County, with both train and truck loading capabilities, puts us in a great position to serve the local agricultural community,” said CEO Mike Anderson. “While we realize this year’s crop is challenged due to the drought, we believe the accessibility we provide to a variety of outlets, as well as our many services will provide added value to area farmers during this year and well into the future.”
The afternoon focused on the words relationships and longevity.
Vice President for the Western Region of The Andersons Dawn Betancourt served as the master of ceremonies. She spoke first of the company’s mission statement, and the importance of the words to the individuals who make up the company.
“We don’t just have these words. I’ve been with The Andersons for 26 years. We live and breathe this document.”
Mike Anderson said they were very proud to be here, and the day held a special significance.
Forty-four years ago this month he was with his dad as the company opened their second high speed train loading facility in Champaign Ill., with a similar pride.
This is the first elevator The Andersons has constructed in Nebraska and is located on the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway.
The location, Anderson said, was selected because his company felt the area had been under served.
“We were already in Nebraska in a small way, and wanted to expand. We felt there was an opportunity to add value,” he said.
“We believe in hard work and creating stuff for the benefit of others.”
He talked about the pride the agricultural world should have in being part of a system that helps feed and fuel the world.
He talked about providing jobs, being good philanthropists and paying taxes.
“We want to be involved ... We want to be part of the solution, part of the service ... When the switch goes on not everything will work right away, but we are extremely good at risk management.”
He concluded by thanking the community for ‘bringing us in.”
Governor Heineman spoke about what made the day special and of the many good things happening in Custer County.
“We understand what the Number 1 industry is in Nebraska and that is Agriculture. We have a trying year this year, but we know we can weather this storm.”
Betancourt spoke of being overwhelmed by the support of the area for their company and the facility as she introduced many of the people there, from the emergency response individuals and representatives of the township, Custer Economic Development Corporation and Broken Bow Chamber.
Area farmer and CEDC Chairman of the Board Don Cantrell gave a little history of the initial meetings with the Anselmo Township Board, and of the hope they had for the facility’s construction.
“We were 50 years behind the Platte Valley,” he said, “We were pretty sure this could happen, and by golly it did.”
In a press release, Betancourt spoke of the good fortune to be able to develop good working relationships with community leaders and residents in this area.
“We look forward to a future that strengthens both this progressive agricultural community as well as our company’s position in Nebraska,” Betancourt said.
With the addition of this elevator, The Andersons Grain Group now has a capacity of nearly 113 million bushels throughout Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Nebraska.
The target date for The Andersons to be able to receive grain is Sept. 17.
“And if you need to deliver early, we’ll make sure we can accommodate,” said Betancourt. “We want to excel in customer service to keep you coming back.”
An estimated 400+ people were in attendance.