Soybean Cleaning Facility Looks To Pick Itself Up After Thursday Fire
Fox 47 News
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John Forell, a soybean farmer from Charlotte, has worked with Bob Mansfield for years.
Forell grows a special kind of food-grade soybean that can only be processed at grain elevators with certain capabilities.
Citizens LLC in Charlotte, which is owned by Mansfield, is the only facility with those capabilities in the area and was severely damaged in a Thursday morning fire.
"I have been down there and inspected the site," said Forell. "It's obviously a very devastating thing to happen so close to harvest, but we're hoping he can get the site back up in 60 days.."
The soybean harvest season begins for many in just a few weeks and food-grade soybeans from Citizens are sent to clients all over the world.
According to a statement released Friday, the building involved in the fire was the soybean cleaning plant.
"Just storing the beans is not enough," said Forell. "You need to get it cleaned and packaged and sent off to the market and that 60-day delay is very critical that we can get that back up and running."
Otherwise, it means overseas clients could go elsewhere for their beans, something local farmers do not want to see happen.
Gary Haynes has been doing business with Mansfield since the 1980s and he says, he is confident that the plant will be up and running in time for the harvest.
"He's capable and he has the ability to take care of the problem," said Haynes. "I know he'll do a good job and his growers are very devoted to what they're doing."
Charlotte Fire Chief, Kevin Fullerton, said, as of today, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.