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Grain elevator paid off

Farmers Institute to celebrate momentous occasion Nov. 22
Elevator #1 in Fort St. John, owned by the North Pine Farmers Institute and operated by Viterra.

More than a decade after acquiring its grain elevator, the North Pine Farmers Institute will officially “burn” its mortgage later this month.

The Farmers Institute says it has paid off its mortgage and loans after acquiring the concrete facility on Elevator Road from Cargill in 2010, and saving it from demolition.

“The demolition of the Cargill concrete elevator was imminent,” shared Margaret Little in an email to Alaska Highway News. “The North Pine Farmers Institute recognized the importance of having a local elevator in our area or face, once again, trucking their grain to Dawson Creek and beyond.”

“The Elevator Committee had the vision and by accessing grants and loans through the Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Peace River Regional District, the vision became a reality,” said Little.

The NPFI was developed in 1930 with a mandate to enhance farm communities and rural life, and to support for rural development from an economic and social point of view.

With Cargill's elevator slated for demolition, it saw a need for better transportation of agricultural products in the region and spent about $1.6 million on its acquisition and repairs.

After extensive upgrades and acquiring rail access, the institute opened the refurbished elevator in 2012.

Today, it remains owned by the Farmers Institute and is operated by Viterra, moving about 70,000 metric tonnes of farm crops a year.

“The Elevator Committee included President Larry Houley, Wade Cusack, Martin Moore, Gordon Hill, Brian Johnston, and Blane Meek,” shared Little. “This formidable team worked tirelessly to ensure that there would continue to be an elevator and access to the railhead here in the North Peace.”

The Farmers Institute will celebrate the momentous occasion with a dinner and evening of entertainment on Nov. 22 at the Lido.

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