Columbia Grain to acquire Crete Grain elevators

by Eric Schroeder
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PORTLAND, ORE. — Columbia Grain Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase two grain elevators from Crete Grain Company, Inc. in Crete, N.D. The assets include a 110-car shuttle loading facility in Oakes and one country elevator in Crete. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to be completed by Aug. 15, were not disclosed.

“We have worked with Crete for many years to originate grain from the upper Midwest,” said Tom Hammond, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Grain. “This purchase adds to our supply chain in the North Dakota Red River Valley region. We look forward to working with grain producers in the Oakes area.”

Founded in 1978, Columbia Grain now owns and operates 48 grain elevators with a combined storage capacity of approximately 1.2 million tonnes. Many of the facilities are used as a pipeline to feed Columbia’s export elevator located in Portland. The remaining assets are utilized to service domestic markets.

Crete Grain was founded in 1978 by Bernard and Marlene Vculek. Since 1997, the company has been owned by their sons, Brian and Barry Vculek, and daughter and son-in-law, Sonia and Leroy Meehl. The Meehls have served as the management team since 1996. In 2004, the company built a new 1.3-million-bu shuttle station at Oakes, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe qualified shuttle loader located on the RRV&W Railroad.

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