Published July 1, 2001 | July 2001 issue
North Dakota is the largest grower of dry edible beans in the United States, but crops are normally shipped to eastern North Dakota, Montana or Colorado to be processed.
That's about to change, however, as a $4.5 million plant to turn local beans, peas and lentils into powders for other foods has been proposed by the Lewis and Clark Bean and Pea Growers Association. The product from the value-added processing plant, the only one of its kind in North Dakota, will go to a Minneapolis company.
Before construction can begin on the processing plant in Garrison's industrial park, the organizers must raise $1 million in equity; however, association leaders are confident of success. The plant is expected to begin production about nine months after construction is started.
Some estimate that, over the next three years, the processing operation could have a $20 million impact on the community. Officials expect benefits to spill over to other area businesses, such as trucking companies and seed cleaners.