Corn Plus — operating since 1994 and the first ethanol plant in Minnesota — is reportedly closing the Winnebago facility.
That has been confirmed by Ted Landsteiner, a member of the plant’s board of directors.
Landsteiner says letters are being mailed out to stakeholders this week informing them of the board’s decision to shutter the plant’s doors.
Winnebago businessman Bob Weerts and Steve Core were the original founders of Corn Plus when they convinced nearly 160 farmers to invest in the farmer-owned cooperative.
Weerts was on the road Wednesday when he heard of the plant’s closing.
“It’s pretty sad,” says Weerts. “It was started from scratch and was built into a successful business. It began as a dream and now the dream is over.”
Weerts wonders what impact the closing may have on other businesses.
For example, Continental Carbonic, Inc., uses carbon dioxide gas from Corn Plus to produce dry ice. The company employs about 40 people.
Corn Plus reportedly has about 40 workers who are expected to be laid off.
Winnebago Mayor Jeremiah Schutt and City Administrator Jacob Skluzacek were unavailable for comment.