Many industry leaders were on hand for the June groundbreaking ceremony, including Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (center).

Soybean crush facility will change soybean markets in Wyandot County

By Matt Reese and Joel Penhorwood

Freshly laid gravel, bare soil and soybeans growing in the neighboring field set the scene for the groundbreaking of the new Louis Dreyfus Co. (LDC) soybean crush facility in June. Construction has started for the massive soybean processing plant in Upper Sandusky that will integrate crushing, vegetable oil refining, and lecithin production and packaging capabilities. The new facility will have an annual crush capacity of over 55 million bushels — around 20% of Ohio’s annual soybean production.

“Ohio is fifth in bushels and we believe at the Ohio Soybean Association that we have the best beans here in Ohio — that’s why we want them to keep using our soybeans for oil,” said Rusty Goebel, a Williams County farmer and president of the Ohio Soybean Association. “In a rural community you can’t overstate the importance of the jobs and economic impact from all investments. This new plant will drive more demand for our soybeans. The farmers in Wyandot County and neighboring counties will greatly benefit. This investment will also have a positive ripple effect to the community, creating more jobs and enhancing the economy in the area. The plant will also make the delivery experience more efficient and streamlined for farmers. It will save us time, which always is important, especially during harvest. We can get in and drop and get going down the road. That’s a plus to all farmers.”

The project has an emphasis on truck receiving for deliveries with an 80,000-bushel an hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week delivery capacity with four dump pits. Many industry leaders were on hand for the June groundbreaking ceremony, including Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

“I think it’s a great day for Wyandot County, a great day for Ohio and a great day for Upper Sandusky. This is kind of a win-win-win. There’s going to be construction jobs here in a few months, a lot of them. Once the facility is built, it’s going to be over 100 employees at least to start, so that’s good, and for a farmer this is one more place to bring your beans. I know farmers do not want to wait and they don’t want to truck very far, so this is going to be great,” DeWine said. “One of the things we’re going to see coming out of here is the oil. It’s going to be food grade oil. We have many manufacturing companies in the state of Ohio and surely some of that oil, or maybe a great deal of that oil, is going to end up being processed right here in Ohio. It’s just a really synergistic thing. Ohio remains, and has been historically, an agriculture state and a manufacturing state. That’s what we do and this is going to add to that agricultural side. It’s estimated that with this facility, and other facilities that are already here, 90% of Ohio soybeans are going to end up being processed in Ohio. The more we can keep in Ohio, the more jobs we create here.”

Mike Gelchie, global CEO for LDC, re-emphasized the massive shift the new facility will have on the local economy.

“Today marks an exciting new chapter in LDC’s history as we officially begin construction of our new soybean processing complex right here in Upper Sandusky. The future of this complex will further strengthen our existing operational network in North America in relation to our grains and oil seeds business,” Gelchie said. “When completed in March of 2026, it’ll have the capacity to crush 1.5 million tons of soybeans annually and produce 320,000 tons of oil for various applications. It will be equipped with high-end technology for operational efficiency and safety and it will create over 100 new high-paying jobs. This project represents a significant capital investment by our company and reflects LDC’s ongoing commitment to growing with the U.S. agricultural sector through shared value creation.”

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