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In 2016, The Equity purchased property located at 13991 E. 1700th Rd, in Chrisman for their new location. “At that time, it was a grain-only location with grain storage capacity of 1.3 million bushels,” said Marketing Manager, Geri Wohltman.
The Equity is the largest independent agricultural cooperative headquartered in Illinois with eighteen locations in Illinois and a location in Farmersburg, Indiana. The Equity started in 1919 in Effingham, Illinois and over the last one hundred and three years has expanded its footprint and agricultural offerings to help producers throughout their territory. “We offer a broad range of agronomic inputs, grain merchandising, animal feed and energy products,” Wohltman said. “The location near Chrisman is currently supplying agronomy inputs, grain marketing, and feed for livestock producers.”
The location was purchased with the intent of building a new state of the art feed mill. “It was a natural fit because of the proximity to a high number of crop production acres as well as packing plants and potential growth of livestock in the area,” said Wohltman. “It also helped that a feed mill used corn as a major ingredient and with the grain facility already on-site it just made sense.”
The Equity broke ground on the feed mill build in the fall of 2016, taking a little over eighteen months to see the project come to life with the first load of feed produced in February of 2018. “This new feed mill has the capacity to produce 440,000 ton of livestock feed annually,” Geri said.
During construction, the grain division began expansion at the location and erected several grain bins as well as a ground corn pile structure in 2017. This grain facility has the ability to load ninety rail cars to ship on the CSX and currently has a grain storage capacity of five million bushels.
“There are plans in the coming years to continue to add storage for this location,” Wohltman said.
The Chrisman location also serves The Equity’s agronomy business unit.
“Agronomy has been servicing area row crop farmers since the early 2000’s from our Marshall and Galton locations,” Geri said. “Agronomy is now in the process of adding a state-of-the-art crop protection facility to companion with their existing nitrogen offering.”
Equity’s plan is to have the crop protection facility fully functional by the late Spring of 2022.
At that time, they will begin looking for additional staff to add to the Agronomy team to help meet the needs of the area farmer customers. “We also plan to add additional plant nutrition storage and service offerings in the future.”
Currently, The Equity employs about five hundred full time employees throughout its trade. Thirty-two of which are at the Chrisman location, plus several seasonal positions. “The Equity continues to expand our workforce at this location as we continue to experience growth in the area,” Wohltman said.
The Equity works with many businesses in the Edgar County area including row crop farmers, trucking companies, local suppliers, utilities, railroad, concrete and more.
“We are thankful to be in an area of rural America that has deep roots invested in agriculture and is willing to see growth to continue to help the American farmer thrive.”