The site will incorporate a range of features — from solar panels to a companywide safety training center — that test and develop sustainability solutions for farmers, feed and food customers, and the adjacent community. The overarching goal is to significantly decrease resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions while improving product quality and safety.
Several projects already have been launched:
- Over the summer, variable frequency drive motors were installed on fans for the facility bunkers, along with metering that tracks wind speed and controls motor output. It is estimated that this technology will reduce annual facility energy consumption by as much as 67 percent.
- A new system tracks the site’s overall fuel and energy usage per bushel. This data will be used to compare efficiency year over year.
- Facility employees are testing lower-emission options for equipment, such as an electric skid steer versus an internal combustion conventional machine.
Initiatives planned for 2024:
- An on-site solar panel system will be installed to supply up to 30% of the facility’s annual usage with renewable energy.
- An Environmental Health and Safety Training Center will be created at the facility to educate and provide hands-on learning for Scoular’s operations employees companywide.
In addition, Scoular will offer classes for local producers and community members and seek partnerships with schools. In August, Scoular held a meeting in Adrian with more than 40 producers to discuss regenerative agriculture, which can drastically reduce emissions in the agricultural industry. The meeting was held in partnership with the University of Missouri Center for Regenerative Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
The grain elevator of the future
TJ Mandl, the Scoular regional manager who is leading the project, said he considers the Adrian facility the “elevator of the future.”
“We envision a testing ground for everything from operational sustainability strategies to regenerative agriculture practices,” he said. “What’s most exciting is that we’ll share our results and lessons learned with producers, customers and community members.”
In 2022, Scoular completed an extensive upgrade to the facility, which was built in 2012 and handles corn, wheat and soybeans. Located about 60 miles south of Kansas City, the operation serves multiple markets including soybean processors, poultry feeders and flour mills.
“As customers develop plans to meet supply chain reduction goals, initiatives like the sustainability hub show that Scoular company is willing to engage and partner on solutions,” said Kate Pitschka, Scoular’s corporate sustainability manager.
“The feedback from our customers so far is positive, and we look forward to expanding our impact and reach,” she said.