Montana Eggs Opens New $9 Million Facility

The 58,000-square-foot egg grading operation in Great Falls, MT will process over 280 million eggs annually to meet growing demand for organic, free-range eggs.

Montana Eggs LLC is celebrating the grand opening of its new $9 million, 58,000-square-foot egg grading facility in Great Falls, MT. The new operation will process more than 280 million eggs annually from a supply of 1.2 million chickens. This is the company’s second site in the Great Falls region.

Great Falls Montana
Photo: Great Falls Montana Development Authority

“The demand for Montana-grown free-range eggs is expected to double over the next few years and this facility will help us meet the demand. The space gives us the ability to grade, sort and ship millions of eggs a year,” says Mike Kleinsasser, secretary-treasurer of Montana Eggs. “The demand for organic products is beginning to outpace the supply, and this new facility prepares us to confidently face that challenge.”

The new Montana Eggs facility will bring 20 new jobs to the region. Eggs are expected to begin shipping from the site Fall 2017.

“Montana Eggs’ expansion has the potential to draw in more than $13 million for the state’s economy,” says Jolene Schalper, vice president of business development for the Great Falls Montana Development Authority. “Big companies from around the world are starting to realize the potential of our region’s strong workforce and the large number of agricultural products we can process.”

The facility is owned by a partnership of 30 Hutterite colonies that make up Montana Eggs. Often distinguished by the men’s black beards and traditional 19th century garb, the Hutterites are a denomination of communal Anabaptists, like the Amish and Mennonites, who live on secluded farms yielding eggs, pork and garden produce. For over 70 years, the colonies have been setting new trends in Montana agriculture, driving the dairy industry and producing 98% of Montana’s eggs. They are currently working on transitioning to a cage-free nesting system.

“This new facility is not only a milestone for the Hutterites but it’s great for the economy and the region of Great Falls. As a Hutterite myself, I can say that we are proud to be part of such a vibrant, growing agriculture and processing community,” continues Kleinsasser.

Great Falls Montana
Photo: Great Falls Montana Development Authority

The Great Falls region is home to several large agri-processing companies, based both locally and internationally, including Montana Milling, General Mills, Graincraft, and Timeless Seeds. The region has also attracted foreign direct investment, with four Japanese-owned companies including Columbia Grain, Montana Specialty Mills and Helena Chemical, and French-owned MaltEurop.

“This has been a fun project to work on with great people,” said Mike Tabacco, owner Guy Tabacco Construction. “We like agri-processing projects here because we engage with reliable business partners and gain such good friends during the process. What a great asset to Great Falls and the surrounding area.”

While the large Montana Eggs expansion marks a victory for agri-processing in the area, the Great Falls Montana Development Authority believes there is more work to be done.

“There is a wealth of opportunity to process more agricultural goods here in Great Falls,” says Brett Doney, president and CEO of the Great Falls Montana Development Authority. “For companies looking to relocate we offer tremendous support including workforce recruitment and training grants, land and equipment grants, access to capital and low-cost utilities and shovel-ready rail-served manufacturing sites.”

A new 197-acre development site called AgriTech Park opened in Great Falls, MT in 2016, offering customized, shovel-ready, heavy industrial lots with rail access. Each lot ranges in size from seven to more than 300 acres. The park is certified as a BNSF Premier Park, saving six to nine months in start-up operations.

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