CUT BANK — International grain producer Agrocorp and Missouri-based grain company Link One recently bought the former Pardue processing plant in Cut Bank.
The Pardue plant went to auction in March. George Anich was a former employee of Pardue and has been hired on as one of the first staff in the plant under new management.
“When COVID hit we were kind of hit and miss on work so it was touch and go on work and making a living was tough and now im starting to feel good about it. Starting to feel security. From what I’ve seen so far I really like it because we will be taking in crops locally and employing local people. That’s a lot for our community in these tough times,” said George Anich, an Agrolink employee.
Peas, lentils, and chickpeas are all part of what the merged company called Agrolink hopes to buy from farms in Cut Bank. To process the grains they need more staffing, and plans to fill 13-15 positions, making a new hire once a month.
Agrolink has only been in production for about 45 days. They say their first goal is to buy, process, and sell the equivalent of ten rail cars a week.
“We need to buy the crops before the farmer even puts them in the ground. So we‘re working with the farmers that want to work with us they want to work locally. As soon as they found out farmers started showing up at our front doorstep,” said Lewis Gray, Link One Chief Operations Manager.
Agrolink hopes to process quickly but their main goal is to create lasting partnerships with local farmers
”We’re already talking about this next crop that they may have planted but may not have a contract with. So, long term we’re going to continue to work with the farmers and buy their lentils and their peas and chickpeas so that we’ll go into a year cycle and continue to do that," Gray said. "I mean longevity, we’ve been very successful at doing this type of business and so we believe we can do this for a very long time.”
For more information, click here to visit the Agrolink website.