JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Officials with ADM take the company's responsibilities seriously when it comes to the planned soybean crushing plant at Spiritwood, N.D., according to Ken Campbell, president of North American oils and biodiesel for ADM.

"We are not going to let our shareholders down," Campbell said during a Wednesday, June 16, meeting with local officials in Jamestown. "We are not going to let down Stutsman County or Jamestown and we sure as hell won't let down the state of North Dakota."

ADM announced plans to invest $350 million in the purchase of the former Cargill Malt plant, demolish most of that facility and construct a new soybean processing plant adjacent to the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park.

Connie Ova, CEO of the JSDC, was the emcee Wednesday, June 16, 2021, for the Welcome Archer Daniels Midland to Stutsman County luncheon at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Connie Ova, CEO of the JSDC, was the emcee Wednesday, June 16, 2021, for the Welcome Archer Daniels Midland to Stutsman County luncheon at Harold Newman Arena. John M. Steiner / The Sun

ADM and the Stutsman County Commission are still in negotiations for a tax incentive package for the project.

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Until Wednesday, local leaders referred to ADM as "Company X" under a nondisclosure agreement.

Connie Ova, CEO of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp., referred to the project as an "economic developer's dream come true."

Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich welcomed ADM to the Jamestown community and honored some of the people who led the effort to add agricultural processing facilities in the county.

"It is appropriate to gather at the Harold Newman Arena for this event," Heinrich said.

Newman's plan to construct an ethanol plant at Spiritwood brought about the first discussion of industrial development at Spiritwood. Newman was unable to build his planned ethanol plant. Later, Great River Energy constructed the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy ethanol plant at the site.

"Newman was always interested in the community and a pioneer in North Dakota ethanol production," Heinrich said.

Heinrich wished ADM success in its soybean plant project.

Mayor Dwaine Heinrich delivers a speech Wednesday, June 16, 2001, welcoming Archer Daniels Midland to the area. John M. Steiner / The Sun
Mayor Dwaine Heinrich delivers a speech Wednesday, June 16, 2001, welcoming Archer Daniels Midland to the area. John M. Steiner / The Sun

"What you will find in Jamestown is success in business is not a good thing but a great thing," he said.

Doug Goehring, North Dakota agriculture commissioner, said the project had been in discussion stages for about four years with at least two possible developers.

"Frankly, we needed all the pieces to fall together," he said.

In 2017, Minnesota Soybean Processors announced plans to build a soybean crushing plant at Spiritwood but was not able to assemble financing for the project.

Goehring said the ADM plant will process about 25% of the soybeans grown in North Dakota.

"It is promising for the health and welfare of the state," he said.

Campbell said ADM has assigned several people within the company to work full time on the financing, planning and construction of the planned Spiritwood plant.

Demolition work on the former Cargill Malt plant could begin by the end of June. Plans call for the completion of the crushing plant in time to process the soybean crop harvested in the fall of 2023.

"This is another victory for North Dakota," said Al Christianson, business development and government affairs manager for Great River Energy.

Correction June 23, 2021: Minnesota Soybean Processors was the group that, in 2017, announced plans to build the plant at Spiritwood. The wrong group was named in an earlier version of this story. The story has been updated with the correct information. We regret the error.