Huntington County, Ind. (WANE) —A grain mill company in Huntington and Wells counties has new owners.
Salamonie Mills property, Simpson Grain, located in Huntington County, Hemp Mill and the Railroad Facility, both located in Warren, and the Markle Elevator in Markle, were all on the auction block July 22 and sold to different owners.
According to Halderman Real Estate & Farm Management website, all properties of Salamonie Mills were sold for a total of $633,700.
Simpson Grain sold for $80,000 to a Pioneer Seed dealer in Huntington County. The Railroad Facility located in Warren was bought by a local farmer for $106,000. The Hemp Mill, also in Warren, sold to a grain mill company for $235,000. A company out of Berne brought the Markle Elevator for $180,000.
WANE 15 reached out to several of the new owners and at this time owners say they are still in the process of developing and deciding their plans for the property. Though the properties have been sold, at the time the article was published the new owners have not closed.
To learn more about the auction of Salamonie Mills locations, click here.
The auction was the result of First Farmers Bank & Trust foreclosing on Salamonie Mills, along with its sister company, Agland Grain, after it defaulted on two separate loans totaling more than $8 million. While the bank was foreclosing, the Indiana State Department of Agriculture and Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency temporarily suspended the mill’s licenses.
Owners surrendered their licenses to the state effective April 24, closing all locations in both Wells and Huntington counties. When the mills closed, farmers and producers who used the facility were left with questions on when they would receive money for the grain stored in the mill’s bins.
The Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency held the first public claims hearing July 2 on the campus of Huntington University to help farmers prepare documents necessary to file a claim.
Currently, Agland Grain locations in Bluffton and Uniondale are not up for auction or for sale. Both properties remain closed and their licenses are inactive at this time.
Personal property including tools and equipment will be sold at a separate auction in August.
Meeting Dates for Salamonie Mills
The Indiana Grain Buyers Association and Warehouse Licensing Agency will hold a public claims hearing meeting for all producers who believe they have a claim to file directly related to the failure of Salamonie Mills on Tuesday, Aug. 4 and Wednesday, Aug. 5.
Producers who marketed grain under the last name beginning with the letter A-J or a farm/business name beginning with the letter A-J should plan to attend the Tuesday, Aug. 4 meeting at 2 p.m. Producers with last names, farm or business name beginning with the letter K-Z should plan to attend the Wednesday, Aug. 5 meeting at 2 p.m.
Both meetings are being held at Dillman Church located at 8888 South 1100 West in Warren.
Representatives from the Indiana Grain Buyers Association and Warehouse Licensing Agency will be available onsite starting at 9:30 a.m. both days to help farmers prepare documents necessary to file a claim.
The claims hearings for Salamonie Mills and Agland Grain are being held separately.
Future of the mills
With harvest just around the corner and the sale of Salamonie Mills properties, many are asking if the mills will and can reopen.
While the new owners WANE 15 spoke to are still in the process of closing and making plans, new owners can reopen the mills.
According to the Indiana Grain Buyers Association and Warehouse Licensing Agency, new owners who wish to operate as a commercial grain operation would need to follow state rules and regulations and apply for a license with the state.
At this time, Agland Grain’s license is still inactive and can not reopen without a license. The agency is currently in the process of reviewing all the claims from producers and will mail documents with the state’s findings to producers once complete.
For farmers and producers looking for a new mill, click here to find an open and licensed mill near you.
Producers are encouraged to call Indiana Grain Buyers and Warehouse Licensing Agency at (317) 232-1360 or email INGrainBuyers@isda.in.gov.