Soy Innovation Campus launching permitting process

Epitome Energy, alongside Minnesota Department of Agriculture Thom Petersen and Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka, will be hosting an event Thursday, Sept. 5, announcing the permit processing for the Soy Innovation Campus in Crookston has commenced.

The announcement will take place at 2 p.m. at the Crookston Housing and Economic Development Agency, and is open to the public.

Earlier in August, Epitome Energy received a $250,000 loan from the City of Crookston toward the building of a soybean crush and biodiesel facility. During the 2019 Minnesota legislative session, the bipartisan omnibus agriculture finance bill included $5 million in funding toward the Soy Innovation Campus.

“With support of the City of Crookston, CHEDA and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, we are excited to move forward with our permitting process, bringing additional value-added processing to Crookston and northwest Minnesota, which will impact every aspect of the agriculture community,” says Epitome Energy CEO and President Dennis Egan. “We are one step closer to making an impact in this region.”

Once operational, the crush and biodiesel could increase the value of soybeans in northwest Minnesota by an estimated 20 cents per bushel. The facility aims to generate nearly $323 million in new economic activity in northwest Minnesota.

“This is all about moving forward,” Slunecka says. “In hard times, it can be difficult to focus on investing in our future, but in many ways, we make our best decisions when the weight of tomorrow’s success is on our shoulders.”

Commissioner Petersen will be on hand to underscore the importance of Epitome Energy and the Soy Innovation Campus to the bottom line of farmers in northwest Minnesota, where soybeans are priced lower than nearly every other region in the U.S.

“It’s fantastic to see this project become a reality for the Crookston area and farmers in northwestern Minnesota,” Commissioner Petersen says. “In the current farm economy, it’s more important than ever to find new ways for farmers to process and market their commodities. Epitome Energy and The Soy Innovation Campus are great examples of how we can support those efforts.”

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