Central Farmers Cooperative/Fremar Grain Facility
Central Farmers Cooperative, with headquarters in Marion, S.D., built a 136-acre development on the west edge of Lyons through its joint venture company Fremar LLC, a 50-50 partnership with Archer Daniels Midland. Ground was broken on the low-ground site June 6, 2011 when the dirt work contractor begin building up the land by using sand from the site, which is covered with a layer of dirt, then about 30 feet of sand down to a clay layer. Everything used to build up the low-lying land came from the site, bought from local landowners, except for the gravel for a base for the roads and the rail spur.
The cooperative owns the land around the middle parcel where the Burlington Northern Santa Fe line will have a circular spur track where the 110 railcars will sit until they are loaded. The main reason the $23 million facility was built in Lyons was because of the existing railroad that runs by the site from Sioux Falls to Madison, S.D., where it dead ends, after going through Crooks, Colton and Wentworth before hitting Madison. All trains will come from Sioux Falls onto the facility’s loop track, where cooperative employees will be trained to run the engine and load the cars before it heads back out to the main track. Because of the newer design, there will be no switching of cars involved so it will be a smoother loading process.