Grower Eyes Grant to Build New York Soybean Processing Plant

Todd DuMond’s goal to establish a soybean processing plant on his Fleming, NY farm may soon bear fruit.

DuMond’s operation has applied for a $655,000 grant from Empire State Development, an offshoot of the state’s Division of Commerce. Because of the 20 jobs that would be created, the business would also receive $224,000 in tax credits.

DuMond wants his proposed $3.27 million plant to make soybean meal and oil because he believes it’s needed in New York. Presently, farmers must send their soybeans out of state for processing. Farmers must buy feed shipped into the state, which adds more expense. A nearby soybean processing plant would save on those expenses, he said.

 Processing soybeans in central New York would place the soybean meal where it’s needed.

“We have a big demand for feed with all the dairies, especially in Cayuga County,” DuMond said. “I have a good relationship with many dairies.

“The impetus for this year is I’ve added staff and have a greater ability to do it at this point. We have the location and facility to make it happen,” he said.

DuMond said that his project has been prioritized but he won’t know whether he’ll receive the grant until December.

“There are a lot of good projects,” he said.

The proposed processing plant would make animal feed. He also plans to generate biodiesel, another product largely imported from other states to New York.

“It would be great to develop the market in upstate,” he said. “If I can grow to the size and scale I imagine, we could process up to 50 percent of New York’s soybeans within three years.”

DuMond said the facility would be about 6,000 to 10,000 square feet, plus extra space for grain storage and dryers. He said he is leaning toward purchasing equipment from Indiana-based InstaPro because he wants consistency in heat while processing.

If all goes well, it should take about a year for the facility to open, he said.

DuMond’s parents, Eric and Marge DuMond, started the farm in 1980. After Todd DuMond finished his education and returned to the farm in 2003, he assumed ownership of DuMond Farms LLC.

The farm began roasting soybeans that same year, an operation that became known as DuMond Grain LLC. Eventually, Todd DuMond began purchasing other farms’ grain to process and resell.

DuMond Farms grows 1,300 acres of soybeans and has 7,000 acres of total farmland, making it one of the largest soybean producers in Cayuga County.

Land stewardship is big on the farm, as evidenced by the farm’s use of filtration strips, permanent waterways, high-resolution/sub-surface drainage, high-flow surface water catch basins, poly-culture cover crops, crop rotation, narrow row spacing, reduced tillage, and optimal nutrient application through timing, and placement.

 The farm’s goal is year-round ground cover and no-till farming, using primarily organic nutrient management. DuMond also operates equipment using biodiesel.

After seven years of grain roasting, the DuMonds founded DuMond Trucking LLC to make transporting grain easier.

Two years ago, the farm began grinding corn.

Todd DuMond also sells cover crop seed as a Center Seed dealer.

He has served on the American Soybean Association’s board of directors since 2011.

He also grows corn, wheat and alfalfa rye.

The New York State Agricultural Society lauded him as the Next Generation Farmer of the Year in 2015.

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