SDCUC has spent the majority of its financial and staff resources on developing new corn markets in South Dakota. In 1996, South Dakota was processing approximately 8 million bushels of corn annually. The least expensive corn in the world was in South Dakota. SDCUC figured out how corn producers could utilize and profit from this huge supply of cheap corn.
In 1998, SDCUC put together a business plan to build a 40 million-gallon farmer owned ethanol plant. We chose a site with the largest basis in the world and met with the banking industry that agreed to finance the stock sale that would be sold to producers. We offered a rebate of $600 to producers who participate in the corn checkoff and assisted in the cost of putting the entire project together. This plan was then repeated throughout South Dakota.
Today, over 12,000 South Dakota families are invested in ethanol plants in South Dakota. We produce over 1 billion gallons of ethanol and processes over 250 million bushels of South Dakota corn.
We now have a huge supply of distillers grains, the feed by-product of ethanol on the market and the cheapest feed source for livestock in the state. We are focusing our attention on farmer-owned livestock facilities in South Dakota. We will continue to seek out profitable farmer-owned opportunities. Be sure to investigate these opportunities to see if they fit into your farming operation.