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Platinum Crush Soy Processing names CEO

The Iowa-based startup will be operational in Spring 2024.

Photo courtesy of Platinum Crush Soy Processing LLC
Photo courtesy of Platinum Crush Soy Processing LLC

Erik Lightner, an ag industry professional with nearly 30 years of experience in oilseed processing and engineering, has been named CEO of Platinum Crush, LLC, a new soybean crushing plant under construction near Alta, Iowa.

“Platinum Crush will offer a market for locally-grown and locally-processed soybeans, plus it has the ability to be nimble to respond to market needs,” Lightner said. “I’m excited to help Platinum Crush maximize these opportunities.”

Platinum Crush will become operational in 2024

When Platinum Crush becomes operational in the spring of 2024, it will crush 38.5 million bushels of soybeans annually, or 110,000 bushels daily. It will also create 50 to 60 jobs.

Before joining Platinum Crush, Lightner served as vice president of international construction and manufacturing for Haskell, a Florida-based architecture, engineering, construction and consulting firm.

Lightner also spent 21 years of his career with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). While he has overseen many international business operations across North America, the United Kingdom and Asia Pacific, he’s looking forward to returning to the Midwest.

“My previous roles in oilseed processing and refining, flour milling, cocoa and chocolate, and corn processing have taken me all across the Midwest, including Decatur, Illinois; Kansas City, Missouri; and Lincoln, Nebraska; as well as across the globe,” said Lightner, a Pittsburgh native who earned his chemical engineering degree from Penn State University.

“While ADM is a massive company, many of their plants are operated and measured on their individual performances, similar to Platinum Crush.”

Platinum Crush also reminds Lightner of a large processing facility in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where he led teams dedicated to construction, commissioning and operations during his time at ADM.

“While this plant supplied cocoa and chocolate products to customers, it has many parallels to Platinum. It’s a large greenfield site, it’s a $300+ million facility, and it hires local people. I look forward to taking what I’ve learned from all these previous experiences and applying them to build a culture of safety, quality and community at Platinum.”

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