URSA Cooperative

Industry: Farmer Grain Marketing RDP Investment: $11 million Launched: June 2012

Canton, MO – NMTCs were allocated to help Ursa Farmer’s Cooperative construct a grain elevator to serve as a high-speed throughput load-out facility for barges along the Mississippi River. The facility allows Missouri to retain all grain that previously flowed to its Illinois location, helping the cooperative originate an additional 1.3MM to 1.5MM bushels of grain from farmers who would like to market through a cooperative. Other economic benefits include elimination of the ferry waiting process during harvest (higher productivity), reduced trucking costs, and improved basis for producers in the region.

Management reported 1,079 UFC farmer customers live in Missouri out of more than 3,000 farmer members. UFC currently originates 2.5MM bushels of corn and around one million bushels of soybeans (about 12% of the production base/share) come from its Missouri members. Today, UFC is one of the only farmer-owned cooperatives in the region with access to the river markets.

The new facility has the capability of filling a barge within three hours of dockage through two high-speed 20,000 bushel per hour dumps with legs and conveyors; farmers dump dry grain directly onto barges during harvest. At least three 140K bushel storage bins, a 58K bushel wet bin, dryer, grain sweeps, and related equipment allow for the retention of several barges’ worth of grain. Other features added were a “river cell” and barge load-out system with a 40K bushel per hour conveyor extending over the barge port area, a retaining wall, small office, scales, and additional storage capability for future phases.

RDP’s Community Investment Program

As part of Rural Development Partners Community Investment Program, a matching funds grant was provided to several local non-profit organizations within the community. Rural Development Partners provided $27.5K, Ursa Farmers Coop $27.5K, and US Bank $25K.

$20,000 was awarded to Future Farmers of America toward the development of leaders in agriculture. Part of the leadership development includes sending students to the National FFA Convention where they expand their knowledge of building communities and strengthening agriculture.

$20,000 was awarded to Greenhouse for the Canton Missouri School District toward the construction of a greenhouse to help FFA members develop their agricultural skills while providing a steady source of income for the organization.

$20,000 was donated to The Foodbank of NE Missouri.

$5,000 was given to Canton Fire Department for the purchase of grain rescue equipment. Training was done with the Canton Volunteer Fire Department and surrounding area volunteer fire departments. Equipment is stored at a central location accessible to all area fire departments to use when needed.

$5,000 was allocated to the Community Betterment Housing Volunteers who offer minor home repairs for elderly and disabled people in the community. Services include painting, fixing broken windows, securing loose shingles, etc.

$5,000 was gifted to the Lewis County Fair Board

$5,000 to Backpack Buddies Program – Backpacks of food are provided every Friday to school children who qualify for free/reduced lunches. Children are provided with a healthy breakfast, lunch and a snack each weekend during the school year, including extended breaks.

RDP Impact

New option for 440 farmer co-op members in NE Missouri previously shuttling 3.5 million bushels of grain long distances and waiting for hours to unload.


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