A world of soybeans

What is the Soy Innovation Campus?

The Soy Innovation Campus would house a large biodiesel and extraction facility as well as a specialty soybean mechanical extraction plant and specialty oil refining operation. Additionally, the SI Campus could house UMN-Crookston classrooms and laboratories, offices for private industries using co-products from the four facilities, and would serve as a training grounds for future biodiesel and crush workforces. 

Why is a crush facility needed in Crookston?

As the growth of soybeans moved north in Minnesota, due largely to the success of University of Minnesota soybean breeding research, a shift in global wheat production as well the as long-term need for protein, the facilities to crush those soybeans did not. This has left northern Minnesota in a crushing desert.


How would a crushing facility impact NW Minnesota agriculture?

Forcing raw soybeans be sent to China at prices up to 30 percent lower than southern states or even Southern Minnesota leaves farmers with few options to market their crops. As shown in the University of Minnesota Extension economic impact study, this 21-million-bushel, soybean crushing facility will increase the price paid to farmers by up to 20 cents per bushel by lowering the basis (the price charged to a farmer to ship goods via rail to ports).

  

Why is a biodiesel facility needed?

The 30-million-gallon biodiesel plant will utilize most of the oil created when making high-quality soy meal. This is nearly equal to the amount needed to fulfill the B20 mandate. 

Why build a specialty crushing facility?

Minnesota is the No. 1 producer of identity preserve soybeans and other specialty crops, but to do limited, value-added processing, raw commodities are sent out of state. This specialty crush facility will be unlike any other facility in the nation. While similar campuses exist, such as the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center at Southern Illinois University, this facility will have far greater capabilities. 

Who owns and operates the small crush facility?

The small crush facility will be owned by a non-profit. It will have a diverse board of directors, made up of individuals from agriculture, university, business and research. The mission of this non-profit will be to operate the facility, giving opportunities whenever possible to up-and-coming research projects from Minnesota and the surrounding areas. 

What other benefits does this specialty crush facility offer?

This facility is also a teaching facility. Working in conjunction with the University of Minnesota, Crookston, students, businesses and employees of processing facilities like food manufacturers, would be able to utilize this facility to gain hands-on experience while helping our state become a leader in food-processing. The goal is to create a hub of process engineers and process operators to fill the large demand for these skill sets.


Why is a crush facility needed in Crookston?

As the growth of soybeans moved north in Minnesota, due largely to the success of University of Minnesota soybean breeding research, a shift in global wheat production as well the as long-term need for protein, the facilities to crush those soybeans did not. This has left northern Minnesota in a crushing desert. 

Who are the strategic partners for the Soy Innovation Campus?

The strategic partners for the Soy Innovation Campus are the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council; the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association; Epitome Energy, LLC.; the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; University of Minnesota, and the Agriculture Utilization Research Institute.