SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A McLean County elevator formerly operated by Towanda Grain will reopen under new ownership, the Illinois Department of Agriculture has announced.
Evergreen FS, Inc., a Bloomington-based company that already operates eight other grain elevators throughout McLean County, has agreed to purchase the cooperative’s assets. The deal, which has the approval of the coop’s board of directors, was consummated today prior to a scheduled hearing to revoke Towanda Grain’s business licenses.
“The Department of Agriculture worked very hard the past two weeks to help find a buyer for this facility,” Agriculture Director Tom Jennings said. “We’re pleased an agreement has been reached that not only preserves a local market for grain produced in McLean County, but also protects the financial interests of farmers who had done business with the cooperative.”
Under terms of the agreement, Evergreen FS will assume Towanda’s outstanding grain obligations. That means creditors, including farmers who are owed money for grain sold to the coop, will be paid in full and no draw will be required on the Illinois Grain Insurance Fund, a state-backed fund that protects farmers when elevators fail.
The elevator has been closed since May 10, the date warehouse examiners from the Illinois Department of Agriculture suspended the cooperative’s grain dealers and warehouse licenses for violating financial provisions of the Illinois Grain Code.
“Our investigation into the failure of Towanda Grain is still on-going,” Bureau Chief of Warehouses Stuart Selinger said. “If we should find evidence of criminal activity, we will notify the appropriate law enforcement authorities and recommend prosecution to the fullest extent under the law.”
The acquisition of Towanda Grain will add nearly three million bushels to Evergreen FS’s combined storage capacity of 10.6 million bushels.