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Six Washington State Farmers Start A New Grain Co-Op

As a move to reinvigorate the grain market in their region, a group of six Washington State farmers have founded the Southwest Washington Growers Cooperative with the intention of selling grain out of the Port of Chehalis in Lewis County, Washington.

The notion of a grain storage and distribution facility has already garnered support, with the port providing land, and the Lewis County commissioners earmarking $800,000 for a rail spur expected to be built in the spring of 2020. Additional support has come from the Lewis County Farm Bureau that has committed $5,000 toward a temporary $35,000 conveyor belt to move grain from trucks to rail cars this coming summer. The belt would allow for the immediate movement of barley to the Great Western Malting Co. in Vancouver, according to organizer of the project.

The founders are still working to line up public funding for the construction of permanent silos and conveyance systems, and are aiming to raise $2 million for a phased construction project on an eight-acre section of the port’s industrial park. If state lawmakers allocate funds in the 2020 budget, there are hopes for having storage in place by 2021.

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