Archive for Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Market research

Co-op hopes to fill void created after Eudora elevator closes

December 3, 2003

Rumors have circulated during the past several weeks that the Leavenworth County Co-op would purchase the now-closed Eudora Feed and Grain.

But as it turns out, the speculation was only a rumor.

The Leavenworth County Co-op five-member board discussed the matter at its meeting last week.

"We made the decision not to pursue purchasing that particular piece of property," said Karol Lohman, co-op general manager.

About a month ago, Jim Carpenter closed the 90-year-old elevator and auctioned most of its equipment. At the time, he was hopeful the elevator would be bought and reopened. But now, those hopes have dimmed, according to one of Carpenter's employees.

Leavenworth County Co-op isn't interested in the grain elevator, which sits at the north end of Main Street in Eudora, but it is interested in serving farmers in that area.

"We do want to go into that area with some options and some services and grow in that area with agronomy and petroleum," Lohman said.

And in the short-term, the co-op will put pencil to paper, trying to determine how to service additional farmers while still serving its existing members.

"We want to add on equipment and labor, and service some of the immediate needs this upcoming season out of our existing facility," the general manager said.

And then the cooperative will look at other options, including the optimum location to serve potential customers.

"We do have some ideas about how to get down there immediately," Lohman said. "But with the type of business that it is, you don't jump into this overnight."

The co-op's main location is at Fourth Street and Eisenhower Road in Lansing, and its agronomy plant is on 187th Street, just north of Dempsey Road, both in Leavenworth County.

Carpenter, who currently is in Arizona, had said he closed the Eudora elevator largely because of health reasons. The elevator served about 100 farmers in the area.

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