Anderson Seed Company, based in Mentor, recently opened the doors of its new Redfield, S.D., facility.
When construction started on the sunflower hulling and processing plant in the fall of 2010, it was estimated that the plant would bring 20 new jobs to the area. Now, that estimate has increased to 34. The jobs include mill operators, quality control positions, office staff, forklift operators, baggers and maintenance staff. The plant will have a 260,000-bushel capacity.
"This project initially consisted of a couple of bins and one employee. In about nine months, we have expanded into what we have today," said Stephenie Anderson, general manager. "We are optimistic that this is an indicator of what lies ahead."
After the hulling process, the sunflowers seeds take one of three paths: kernels for breads and other baked products, sunflower kernels for human snacks, or birdseed.
Craig Johnson, Executive Director of Grow Spink, said that the company will benefit the area.
"Anderson Seed Company has quietly taken a commodity and added value locally to the raw product of sunflowers. The 30-plus administration and processing workers involved in providing these sunflower products are a welcome addition to Redfield and Spink County," Johnson said.
Anderson Seed is a family-owned business involving Ron and Mona Anderson and their children Stephenie and Craig. It has receiving stations in Selz, N.D., and receiving and cleaning stations in Durbin, N.D. The family also owns St. Hilaire Seed Company in St. Hilaire.