Bartlett Company announces new soybean processing facility in SEK

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. – A $300 million soybean processing facility is on its way to southeast Kansas.

The Bartlett Company announced they received approval from the Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners to receive county-issued industrial revenue bonds to help build a $300 million soybean crushing facility in the county. That new development, opens a number of opportunities for local farmers, and for job seekers. Montgomery County Commissioner Robert Bever says “As far as jobs in the construction side of it, they’re talking anywhere from 125 to 130 jobs the way it sits right now, and full-time employment after that will be 50 employees, permanent employees with Bartlett.”

Jim Kelly, the Interim Director of the Montgomery County Action Council says MCAC worked with Bartlett and the commission to get the bonds issued and help bring the facility to the county. “The county and the residents of the county have no obligation to pay these bonds back, the obligation is on the company, but this facilitates financing.”

As we mentioned, Bartlett is building a soybean crushing facility. Bob Knief with the Savage Company, which Bartlett is a part of, explains what a soybean crushing plant does. “We’ll bring in soybeans from local farmers, local agribusinesses and take those beans and process them into soybean oil and soybean meal.”

Those crushed soybeans will then become products used across the country. “So soybean oil for the renewable fuels industry, for the food industry, and soybean meal primarily for the feed industry.”

The facility will be located south of Cherryvale, in an unincorporated part of Montgomery County. That means infrastructure improvements to short line rail will be needed. Those improvements, plus what the plant will produce, could have far reaching benefits for the county. Kelly says “That could draw some other industry into the county just because of what’s here with the soybean oil and the potential biodiesel and everything affiliated with that.”

Right now, Bartlett is hoping to begin construction early next year and have the plant completed by 2024.