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Lohman Producers Exchange is asking local investors and farmers to jump on board with a new generation cooperative that is looking to build a new feed mill.

The new co-op, Lohman Milling Operations LLC, would allow eligible producer members to be partners of the company and receive tax credits among other benefits.

"By going through the Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority, there are state tax credits that can be issued to investors and its a 50 percent state tax credit," General Manager Greg Holtgrewe said.

He said it's a large benefit to investors — $1.5 million in state tax credits were approved for the co-op in February 2018.

The co-op needs to raise $3 million to cover the cost of building the feed mill. If funds are secured by Jan. 1, the building of a new mill could be complete by fall 2019.

"Once we raise the money, then the state will grant the tax credits back to the individual farmer investors in this project, and so that is huge for me that I'll get some money back from my investment," said David Ott, a co-op member and vice president of Lohman Producers Board.

The company purchased 10 acres at Route C and D in May 2017. They plan to use the current building on the property as a retail store and office space.

"We're excited to have a plan in place that we actually think is going to work," Ott said.

Once the new mill is built, the Lohman and Russellville locations would stop.

"It would be a new mill, and we would close down the two existing mills," Holtgrewe said.

The current Lohman mill is more than 80 years old. To keep up with federal regulations, the company said building a new mill would be better than making the necessary changes to the current two.

Members are considered partners of the company and would be in charge of voting on the board members who run the business.

"Co-op members elect the board members who are their voting representative," Holtgrewe said.

Investors would have five years to use the credits. Any amount invested over $30,000 by one member doesn't qualify for a tax credit.

After hosting four public meetings, the company said they have some interested parties.

"Everyone seemed very involved and listened to everything we had to say and were interested," Holtgrewe said.

A final meeting is scheduled for January; the location is to be determined.

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