This week a new multi-million dollar grain elevator went into operation at Canton, Mo., after a ceremonial ribbon cutting last week.

The new grain elevator was built to serve Northeast Missouri farmers by the Ursa Farmers’ Cooperative. The state of Missouri reportedly provided almost $2 million to eliminate blighted property and make the property available to the co-op for the new elevator.

The project can really make a difference in the way that 400 co-op family farmers store and market grain. Missouri farmers have been relying on a riverboat ferry to transport truckloads of grain across the Mississippi to sell in Illinois because of a lack of facilities on the Missouri side. The non-ferry option is to drive about 20 miles from Canton to the closest bridge.

According to some watching the opening ceremony, it was 20 years ago that a ferry accident resulted in lives being lost, and there has always been safety concerns about so many loaded trucks going across the river by ferry.