Sioux Falls Business Journal Top 20

Posted: 1/30/2015

by Steve Dick, Executive Director for Ag United

Agriculture projects add value to SD Corn Farmers


I always enjoy the Wednesday Argus Leader, because the Sioux Falls Business Journal is included with the paper.  A favorite segment of mine in SFBJ is a piece called THE LIST.  It is always informative about segments of Sioux Falls area business and commerce.    The January 28th edition of the SFBJ THE LIST was the top 20 building projects in the Sioux Falls MSA.   The list actually had 22 projects because of two ties.


For those who need a refresher on what MSA stands for, it is metropolitan statistical area.  In South Dakota we have two them: the Sioux Falls area and the Rapid City area.  The Sioux Falls MSA includes Minnehaha, Lincoln, Turner and McCook Counties — basically what we call the Sioux Empire.  The 2014 estimated population of the Sioux Falls MSA is more than 240,000 people. 


When the SFBJ looked at the top 2014 building projects for the Sioux Falls MSA, 11 of them were related to housing, three of them were school buildings, three for entertainment and recreational use, two for commercial projects, two for agriculture projects and one for a remodeling project at the airport.  


Probably not too surprising that housing is at the top, considering the ever-growing population in to the area, however, the lack of any manufacturing building permit is noticeable.  The two permits that would be viewed as commercial were the remodeling of the old CNA building in downtown Sioux Falls and the relocation of TJN, the metal recycler to the area between Sioux Falls and Brandon.    


Two building permits that stand out are both ag related and responsible for adding value to South Dakota corn farmers:  the $7.3 million dairy in Lincoln County and a $5 million upgrade to the NuGen Energy ethanol plant in Turner County.  With all of the growth going on in the area, the one constant has been agriculture and projects that add value to our state’s agriculture products.


Another proposed project that would add value to South Dakota corn farm families is the $85 million laying hen farm and egg processing facility proposed by Sioux Falls based Sontesgard Foods.  The Sioux Falls family is looking to add a farm to complement their existing egg farm near Lake Okoboji, Iowa.  The proposed project would buy 6 million bushels of corn locally and 1.7 million bushels of soybeans to feed the chickens.  It would also create 150 jobs at the farm and egg processing facility when the project is completed.


It is likely that when the SFBJ publishes the top 20 building permits for 2015, agriculture will again be included and more than likely will top the list.   


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