In the early 1970’s, our involvement in the U.S. grain industry began with a partnership formed in Long Beach, California, under the name of Koeppel, Inc. During this time, Koeppel, operated a grain export facility in Long Beach. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the partnership built three grain facilities in Nebraska to feed the export facility in Long Beach. In 1981, the corporation name was officially changed to Agrex Inc., and in 1986, we moved our corporate office to Overland Park, Kansas. In addition to maintaining elevator operations in Nebraska, we were also responsible for originating feed grains and by products for our parent, Mitsubishi Corporation, to be shipped to its worldwide customer base. We purchased a hay facility in Ephrata, Washington in 1989, to be able to purchase raw hay from producers and process it into finished hay products, such as hay cubes and compressed bales, with the bulk of these products exported to Asian countries in containers.
In 1998 , we entered into a partnership called Kalama Export Company, LLC, which operates an export grain facility in Kalama, Washington. This partnership has since expanded to two export facilities and has been renamed Pacificor, LLC. While we maintain a minority share in the partnership, we provide significant volume in the grain shipments that occur from the facility to Asian grain markets. From 2004 -2008, we held a partial ownership interest in FGDI, LLC, before purchasing 100% of the company in 2009. In 2010, FGDI, LLC was dissolved and the company was merged into Agrex as an acquisition. This acquisition allowed us to expand in size through additional trading knowledge, increased origination markets, and expanded export operations at the export facility in Mobile, Alabama.
In 2011, we entered into a joint venture named AC Grain LLC, located in Dana, Indiana. In the fall of 2013, AC Grain completed construction of a 9.4 million bushel flat storage building to increase total storage capacity to over 10 million bushels. A second joint venture, Tronson Grain, LLC in Doyon, North Dakota, was created in 2012. In 2013, Tronson Grain completed construction of a one million bushel storage capacity facility with the capability of loading shuttle trains. This facility is located on the BNSF main rail line. In 2013, we entered into another joint venture named Dakota Plains Ag Center LLC with its main facility and corporate office in Beardsley, South Dakota. Dakota Plains handles the three major commodities of corn, soybeans, and wheat with the ability to ship outbound grain by shuttle train on the BNSF. In the past four decades, we have grown into a well-known player in the U.S. and international grain markets, expanding to eighteen locations and nearly 200 employees, as well as several joint ventures that add to our network of origination areas. Our role in the grain, feed and food ingredient value chains allows us to work closely with producers to market their grain to end users and manufacturers worldwide.