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Breaking ground

By Staff | Apr 25, 2012

Calcium Products Incorporated Operations Manager Jim LaVelle makes sure that the golden shovels are free of residual dirt Tuesday afternoon after the groundbreaking ceremony for the company’s new plant located just north of the existing facility on Quail Avenue of the east side of Fort Dodge.

By BRANDON

L. SUMMERS

For Farm News

FORT DODGE – Calcium Products Incorporated held a groundbreaking Friday to celebrate the expansion of its Fort Dodge plant.

The company, which produces pelletized lime and gypsum for growers in agriculture and horticulture, is expanding in response to “double-digit growth” over the past five years.

Larry Moore, president of Calcium Products, Inc., speaks Tuesday afternoon during groundbreaking ceremonies for a plant expansion just north of their existing facility on Quail Avenue. On the wall behind him are renderings of the new plant.

“Today we’re breaking ground on our third production plant,” Craig Dick, CPI vice president of sales and marketing, said. “This is the largest production project Calcium Products has undertaken.”

Dick said the expansion would “effectively double” the company’s production capacity and help to meet the increasing demand for SuperCal SO4.

“For those of you who don’t know about us, we make high quality soil amendments and mineral-based fertilizers. We ship to every state in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and a handful of foreign countries,” he said.

Gilmore City Mayor Richard Jergens spoke at the celebration about the impact CPI has had on his city. He personally thanked Calcium Products president Larry E. Moore.

“I wanted to come here and thank you, Larry, for giving me the opportunity to do this,” he said. “The people in Gilmore City are very proud of the fact to be able to have Calcium products. We’re also proud of the fact that Larry has expanded out to be as big as he is.”

Richard Jergens, the mayor of Gilmore City, speaks at the Calcium Products, Inc., plant expansion groundbreaking Tuesday afternoon north of their existing plant along Quail Avenue on the east side of Fort Dodge. The company also has a plant in Gilmore City.

Jergens said that if you speak with farmers and growers anywhere in the United States, they’ll have CPI products on their shelves.

“I’m very proud of the fact that I’m associated with that,” he said. “I wanted to stress the point that, Larry, I don’t know who’s responsible for hiring your staff, but to me it looks like you’ve done a super job. He’s got excellent employees. A company can’t be run by itself. It’s a team effort.”

He closed, “On behalf of the people of Gilmore City, we want to wish Larry and his staff all the luck in the world.”

David Fierke, Fort Dodge city manager, spoke next, about the importance of the project to the community.

“We’re really excited about this project,” he said. “Really, this company is on an expansion mode. It’s good to be back out here and see how things are moving.”

Craig Dick, vice-president of sales and marketing for Calcium Products, Inc., introduces a speaker Tuesday afternoon during a groundbreaking ceremony for their new facility on Quail Avenue.

Because of the city and the company working together to facilitate the expansion, more jobs will come to Fort Dodge, Fierke said.

“Fort Dodge is a pro-growth, pro-business community. This is a good deal for both the city and the company,” he said. “It’s a good, positive day in Fort Dodge.”

Dennis Plautz, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance CEO, further spoke about the efforts taken that allowed the business to grow.

“I, too, want to thank Calcium Products for your investment,” he said. “I know it’s been a long time coming. This is something we’ve worked a long time on, and it’s taken a lot of people, including the City Council, to make some changes to make this feasible here.”

Plautz applauded Calcium Products for being a company, like Valero and Cargill, that takes natural resources and adds value to them, which returns to the community.

“This the kind of company you want in your community,” he said. “They’ve been wonderful to work with.”

Plautz closed by thanking Jergens for speaking at the celebration, saying it illustrated how both communities grow together.

“We are truly an integrated economy,” he said. “I really believe what’s good for Gilmore City is good for Fort Dodge, and vice versa.”

Last, Larry E. Moore spoke about the growth of the company into a profitable enterprise.

“What we make are soil amendments,” he said. “In ’96, when we started down here, people didn’t understand processed products. They didn’t understand pounds instead of tons per acre. They thought I was some kind of snake oil salesman.”

Moore said that, now, CPI products play an important role in agriculture, particularly as Canada expands its efforts across millions of acres.

“There’s a lot of room for our products to play a role in that expansion,” he said. “That’s what we want our products to do.”

Following his remarks, everyone went outside to a small, mowed square of land. Moore, CPI board members and CPI officers, took golden shovels. At 2:30 p.m., they pushed the shovels into the ground and tossed aside the broken earth to applause.

Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or bsummers@messengernews.net

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