Earlier this year, Great Plains MDF had been looking for input from grain farmers in Kneehill County on if they would support a medium density fibreboard (MDF) plant within the county.
The support must have been there as in an announcement on Wednesday, February 10, Great Plains MDF announced it plans on building North America’s first straw-based MDF plant. According to the media release, the company anticipates building the plant at Equity, which is halfway between Three Hills and Trochu. The site is three quarter sections of land located both along Highway 21 and the CN railway line. With the proposed development, it is anticipated to bring hundreds of jobs to the local economy.
“This is a very exciting step forward for our project, our team, and of course Central Alberta. said Brian McLeod, the President of Great Plains Innovations. “This announcement demonstrates our commitment to local farmers and allows us to move forward with the permitting process.”
“Anytime we can get employment opportunities in Central Alberta is just great. The community is poised for growth. The economic impact for our communities in Kneehill County will be so exciting.” said Barry Kletke, Mayor of the Town of Trochu.
The company has made offers to purchase to the current landowners and anticipate completion of the sale later this year. As part of the agreement, Great Plains has committed to allowing both owners to plant, farm, and harvest their land for one last season.
“This was an important request from the families and was a great opportunity for Great Plains to demonstrate our commitment to the local farming communities with whom we will be partnering with for decades to come,” McLeod said.
Great Plains will be pursing all the permitting required for the new facility and plan on construction beginning in the Fall of 2021. They are continuing to look for farmers who may be able to provide the straw for their plant. To show your interest, check out their survey at www.greatplainsmdf.com/survey.