Iron Horse Development Company, LLC of Kimball, S.D., and South Dakota Wheat Growers, with headquarters in Aberdeen, S.D., have signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines the next steps toward building a full-service agronomy retail center east of Kimball, S.D., at a site owned by Iron Horse Development. The Wheat Growers agronomy center will provide products and professional services to the patrons of the cooperative in the Kimball area.

This expansion announcement by Wheat Growers comes less than two weeks after the cooperative was named the Agricultural Retailers Association 2012 Agricultural Retailer of the Year. Construction of the new agronomy center is consistent with comments about providing member services made by management and the board president during interviews to profile the company in the upcoming January issue of AgProfessional magazine.

One comment by Board President Hal Clemmensen was, “We are always planning ahead, and the question we ask in our board room is not how do we make more money but how can we provide more value and service to our membership because that is why the co-op is here.” 

Eddie Hamilton, Ph.D., board of managers of Iron Horse Development, said the company is very excited to see Wheat Growers invest in the Kimball area and have a strong agricultural retail presence for the growers. He suggested that since Wheat Growers is a member-owned cooperative all profits generated by Wheat Growers will benefit the local trade area and area growers.

Iron Horse Development Company, LLC is a South Dakota entity that was created to address development around the railroad to improve the rural economy of South Dakota through business and community development.

“Wheat Growers has demonstrated their commitment to the farmers in South and North Dakota and has served them well,” Hamilton said. “They continue to demonstrate the know-how and focus needed to be successful in this local area. We are very anxious to be a part of this venture and help be a part of a premier agronomy center that focuses on technology and service for generations to come.”

Steve Briggs, senior vice president of agronomy and corporate marketing at Wheat Growers is also excited to move forward with this agronomy center in Kimball.

“Eddie and Christine Hamilton as well as the other members of Iron Horse clearly laid out a vision for this site and for the area and we wanted to be a part of that vision,” Briggs said. “For growers in the area, Wheat Growers will offer the industry’s best customer experience through our people, products and attention to detail. The Kimball location fits our plans well and allows us to build on our success from nearby facilities in Chamberlain and Stickney.”

Site selection and preliminary site work has begun, and it is anticipated that the new agronomy center will open for business in the spring of 2014.