Local soybean crush plant sold

(Updated at 10:30 a.m.)

A food tech company announced the transfer of ownership of its soybean crush facility west of Cortland to White River Soy Processing LLC for about $36 million in total gross proceeds.

The announcement Tuesday came from Benson Hill Inc., which purchased the plant at 6874 N. Base Road, Seymour, in 2021 from Rose Acre Farms.

“The sale of the Seymour crush assets sharpens our focus on future growth and further enables disciplined capital allocation as part of our three-part Liquidity Improvement Plan,” said Deanie Elsner, Benson Hill’s CEO. “Under our ownership, the Seymour team has achieved record-breaking safety and production records, and we are extremely grateful for their efforts. We look forward to working with White River to seamlessly meet the needs of our farmers, customers and team members.”

Approximately 30 team members will become employees of White River Soy Processing, ensuring a smooth transition for customers, according to a news release from Benson Hill.

“We are grateful and excited to welcome the operations team in Seymour, who will remain at the plant and have accepted our offers of employment,” said Sasha Forsen, who is a spokeswoman for White River Soy Processing.

“We hope that this existing team helps to provide continuity and a smooth transition for our farmer partners and local customers,” she said.

Benson Hill will honor 2023 and 2024 contracts with its farmer partners who deliver grain to Seymour. The parties also expect to finalize a grain supply and licensing agreement to continue processing Benson Hill’s proprietary soybeans through the facility.

The transaction closed Tuesday.

“The team brings decades of experience in soybean processing, from plant operations to risk management and finance,” Forsen said. “Additionally, White River is supported by a knowledgeable group of investors who are focused on investing in agricultural businesses.”

White River Soy Processing develops and operates oilseed processing facilities in the United States. Walter Cronin is listed as a co-founder and president of the company, based Omaha, Nebraska, and Kimberly McCormick is listed as the company’s chief financial officer.

Prior to assuming his role with the company, Cronin advised investors on oilseed processing developments. McCormick’s experience includes various industries, including agriculture, regulated utilities, energy, technology and transportation.

For information about the company, visit whiteriversoy.com.

Benson Hill moves food forward with the CropOS platform, a food innovation engine that combines data science and machine learning with biology and genetics.

Information may be found at bensonhill.com or on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @bensonhillinc.