February 26, 2009

JM Grain receives marketing grant

JM Grain receives marketing grant
For the past several years, a Garrison company has courted customers in far-off lands, places like Japan, China, Tanzania and Cuba. Now, they are hoping to attract customers much closer to home. A grant they are slated to receive will help make that hope a reality.
JM Grain, Garrison, is one of five North Dakota businesses or agencies that are sharing in $240,095 in funding for agricultural projects.
JM Grains was awarded $56,850 to market its unique varieties of peas and lentils such as Eston-type lentils. According to a spokesperson for the N.D. Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC), the Garrison company is marketing “picture of health” eco-friendly, nutritious food.
Marv Flaten, vice-president of JM Grain, gave a brief description of the company’s plans to expand into the retail market
“We’ve been an exporting company,” he said. “Now we’re looking at the domestic market.” He said company officials are in the final stages of selecting a package design for their pilot retail product, Eston-type lentils. Flaten noted that the variety is smaller in size and requires a shorter cooking time. He said JM Grain plans to test-market the lentils in Los Angeles this spring – late April or early May.
JM Grain originated in 2002 as a broker and later, in late 2004, began processing pulse crops.
According to Flaten, retail packaging will be done at the company’s headquarters in Garrison using a semi-automated system. He hinted that if the pilot project is successful, and the company delves deeper into the retail market, plans would be made to expand the company.
Other companies that received funding were:
FK Corporation-USA, N. D. Beef Packing, was awarded $101,000 to conduct an in-depth feasibility study and a detailed business plan for a beef packing/processing plant in the state.
Bowdon Community Cooperative, Bowdon, was awarded $10,000 to conduct a feasibility study to investigate and outline the possibility of restarting the locker plant in Bowdon.

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