Litchfield, NE – Utilizing New Market Tax Credits from Rural Development Partners, Trotter, Inc. constructed a 15,000 ton dry fertilizer terminal and a greenhouse in Litchfield, Nebraska. The fertilizer storage terminal solves a problem for the local agricultural community by reducing high transportation costs while removing fluctuating fertilizer prices during peak seasons, allowing for bulk storage of fertilizer for farmers.
Owner Terina Trotter shared, “Having the dry storage facility has helped to stabilize fertilizer input costs to our farmers. It also allowed us to stockpile the needed fertilizer so in the spring the farmer didn’t have to wait for the fertilizer to get here from over 800 miles away. So, a more timely application of the product was available.
Trotter, Inc. operates in 17 different locations and has more than 400 employees. Key to each of their businesses is an investment within the local community itself. This family operation has at its heart, a community focus, investing in community needs and growth.
As part of this particular project, a matching grant from RDP and Trotter funded a greenhouse adjacent to the new terminal where students from K-12 learn to plant and grow their own produce, which is then served at their school for lunches.
The greenhouse initially targeted the Litchfield community and public schools, and later expanded to benefit the Ansley and Loup City schools. In addition to providing access to fresh produce, the greenhouse provides youth with summer employment opportunities. The greenhouse is a model for farm-to-school education efforts in Nebraska.
This NMTC investment has had catalytic impact in a community once considered an area of blight. There has been increased traffic from truckers in town for the terminal, and people who come to shop for plants and fresh produce at the Greenhouse. Local establishments benefit from the extra people patronizing local eating establishments and other businesses in town. Tax revenue has increased; in the year 2019 the real estate and personal property taxes were $126,580.60, of that $32,536 went to the Village of Litchfield which is 23.13% of the Village’s tax revenue.