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Thursday Apr 24, 2014 - MAP-21: Re-Authorization and the Effects on Transportation Logistics
By Dr. Jennifer S. Batchelor http://blogs.dcvelocity.com/

Guest Post By Rico Fleshman, Corporate and Strategic Manager for Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain at American Public University

The first federal, multi-year transportation bill enacted since 2005, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), was signed into law in July 2012. The bill funded surface transportation programs for FY-13 and FY-14 at just over $105 billion and transformed the national transportation investment framework to allow for increased growth and development of the country’s transportation infrastructure. Or so it would seem.

MAP-21 has been wrought with scrutiny and detractors since being enacted and has been deemed by some as little more than a stop-gap measure by a Congress that has been hard pressed to agree on anything. But while there are critics of the legislation, there are also proponents from the transportation industry who see the improvements, requirements, consolidations, and assumed efficacy of the first iteration as critical building blocks to an opportunity to create long-term visions for funding infrastructure improvements, national transportation safety, and mobility, freight movement and to bring solvency to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). MAP-21 is set to expire September 30 of this year unless extended by Congressional action.

So what does all of this mean for transportation logistics--freight forwarders, 3PLs, warehouse providers, ports, rail, etc? In short, a great deal. With U.S. freight traffic and transit usage rising to record levels and growth expected to continue well past 2030, MAP-21 provides the framework for regulations and funding for programs that impact all transportation providers, from small private truck operators all the way up to global corporations.

In a four part series, I will examine those critical elements MAP-21 that have had and will have the greatest impact to the transportation logistics industry and look at factors in the industry which have driven the creation and enforcement of that policy. Specifically, I will take an in depth look at the impacts of a two year bill instead of a four or five year bill.

MAP-21 predecessors, including the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA, 1991-1997), Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21, 1998-2003), and the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act (SAFETEA-LU, 2005-2009) were all multiple year bills. Does having a two year bill create uncertainty in the transportation logistics market for providers who need to hire and train their workforce? Invest in technology? Plan and fund long-term projects? Ship globally through U.S. Ports?

MAP-21 consolidated the number of federal transportation programs in an attempt to focus resources and hedge duplicative programs. The result was the creation of new core programs, such as the National Freight Network Program (NFNP) and additional responsibilities and funding for existing core programs such as the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). I will look at the NFNP’s ability to establish processes that will effectively empower states to improve the movement of freight on highways and intermodal connectors to assist companies in the transport of their goods.

I will also look at the impact of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) enactment of 17 statutory requirements for freight movers, including the “hours of service” rule, the increased broker bond, and the forthcoming recommendations on rail car design and construction standards and the implications for rail companies who transport hazardous materials.

Finally, I will look at the HTF. The HTF is funded in part through taxes on gasoline, truck and trailer sales, heavy vehicle use, and heavy truck tires. The proceeds are used to pay for highway improvements, highways and motorcarrier safety, and intermodal and transit programs. The HTF has been over-spending for years, has had several infusions of billions of dollars from the General Fund. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that, at current levels of spending and without reform, the Highway Trust fund will reach a shortfall by mid-2015.

Paul Ryan (R-WI) has proposed a budget that aligns HTF spending with incoming revenue and proposes innovative financing solutions for transportation infrastructure and safety programs. Proponents of HTF reform have urged the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which is responsible for re-authorization of the nation’s transportation bill, to consider a range of reform options including raising and indexing the gas tax.

The policies set forth by lawmakers have an indelible impact on our transportation systems. It is no small task and is done with paramount concern for the public safety and in the interest of transportation related commercial, private, and public entities that need to move people and freight around the nation. In my next post, I will explore how the term of a bill impacts the ability of transportation logistics to do just that.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rico Fleshman is the Corporate and Strategic Manager: Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain for American Public University. He has worked with numerous transportation associations and has extensive knowledge of federal and state transportation policy, funding, metropolitan planning processes and regulatory compliance of transportation programs.



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Thursday Apr 24, 2014 - Feds seek fines over grain-dust hazards
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Minnesota-based agriculture company was fined $211,000 by federal safety regulators who said Wednesday it had repeatedly failed to ensure workers weren't exposed to grain-dust hazards in Montana.

CHS Inc. was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for 19 workplace safety violations at grain elevators in Cut Bank, Glendive, Denton and Valier. A company spokeswoman said CHS will challenge the violations.

Three were repeat violations, including failing to test the air quality in work spaces for potentially explosive grain dust, hazardous gases or lack of oxygen, regulators said.

"When an employer sends their employee into a confined space, they must ensure the atmosphere is safe to breathe," said Jeff Funke, OSHA area director. "We're always disappointed when we find repeat violations. That means the employer has stated they've corrected these hazards — and now we've found them again."

The dollar amount of OSHA penalties are increased five-fold for repeat violations by large companies, Funke said.

CHS, based near St. Paul, Minn., has 15 days to either contest the penalties, pay them or request an informal conference with regulators in hopes of the reducing the amount.

Spokeswoman Lani Jordan said in an emailed statement that the company was disappointed by the severity of the allegations.

"We continually assess our facilities, our work practices and our safety training. CHS is proud of its excellent safety performance record in all of our operations, including those in the state of Montana," Jordan wrote.

The company employs 10,000 people in the U.S. and abroad and had 2013 revenues of almost $45 billion.

Dust from grain in elevators is considered highly combustible and can be more explosive than coal dust, Funke said.

Fourteen of the violations alleged against CHS were classified as serious, meaning there was a substantial probability of a worker death or injury.

A CHS worker was killed in Kansas in 2010 when he fell into what regulators said was an inadequately protected grain bin.

The company agreed to pay $40,000 for two safety violations that federal officials said contributed to the accident, according to details of the case provided by OSHA.



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Thursday Apr 24, 2014 - PETA asks to build memorial to turkeys killed in Sioux City truck crash
By Mike Wiser, Lee-Gazette Des Moines Bureau

DES MOINES — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked the Iowa Department of Transportation for permission to erect a 10-foot-tall memorial to the turkeys that perished in a Sioux City truck crash on April 12.

“The (Department of Transportation) doesn’t permit memorials at all,” Iowa Department of Transportation Director of Traffic and Safety Steve Gent said. “When they go up, we try to contact people to remove them to the right of way fence line.”

Alex Moore, a PETA staff member from Ankeny, wrote the proposed memorial would “remind commuters that the best way to prevent tragedies such as this one is to go vegan, because turkeys shouldn’t have to make terrifying trips to slaughterhouses at all.”

A mock-up of the suggested memorial features an image of turkey and urges people to “try vegan.”

Her letter suggests PETA erect the memorial for one month at Gordon Drive and South Alice Street in Sioux City where the truck tipped about 1:21 a.m. on a Saturday, according to a report in the Sioux City Journal.

Police cited driver Marko Dmitrijevic for speeding and failure to maintain control. His truck tipped onto its side and hit 10 parked vehicles, the paper reported.

Gent said he was drafting a response to Moore that would “probably be finished sometime this week.”

PETA spokeswoman Sophia Charchuk said the organization has tried to place memorials before, with little luck.

“In the past, we’ve applied in California, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Oregon, Virginia, and Wisconsin to memorialize hundreds of animals who have died in similar crashes, but so far, we haven’t been accepted,” she wrote in an email. “We are hopeful that this time, the Iowa Department of Transportation will agree with us that our memorial will help save many lives by reminding drivers of their responsibility to the thousands of animals they are hauling to their deaths each day as well as to other motorists.”



Read more: http://thegazette.com/subject/news/government/iowa/policy/peta-asks-to-build-memorial-to-turkeys-killed-in-sioux-city-truck-crash-20140423#ixzz2zoFahJWj



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Wednesday Apr 23, 2014 - "Average distance traveled by a truck shipment was just 216 miles"
Here's How Stuff Gets Shipped Across America
ANDY KIERSZ

There are many ways to track U.S. economic activity. Billionaire Warren Buffett likes to follow railroad traffic.

However, rail isn't the only means by which goods get transported around the country. In fact, you could argue that trucking is a much more sensitive to the economy.

The Bureau of Transportation statistics runs the Commodity Flows Survey every five years (most recently in 2012), tracking what kinds of goods are shipped around the country and how they get from place to place.

We took a look at how shipping breaks down among the different types of transportation.

Trucking dominates freight movement by total dollar value of all goods shipped, with just over $10 trillion out of the total $13,625,059 worth of goods moved around the country:

Trucks also account for most of the total weight of goods shipped, with rail in a distant second:


However, trucks aren't moving things super far. The average distance traveled by a truck shipment was just 216 miles, about a quarter of the distance traveled by rail and water shipments, and far shorter than the average air shipment:
shipping distance 2
Bureau of Transportation Statistics

So, if you're shipping something in bulk way across the country, you're probably shipping it on a train or a boat. This relationship is stark when combining together weight and distance into a statistic called "ton-miles", measuring how far and how large shipments are. Here, rail is king:
shipping ton miles 2
Bureau of Transportation Statistics

This shows that, even though the dollar value and weight of goods shipped by train is much lower than that of goods moved by trucks, things shipped by rail are going much further than things shipped by trucks.



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Wednesday Apr 23, 2014 - FMCSA needs to do better job of getting bad truck
By DOROTHY COX
The Trucker Staff

4/22/2014
WASHINGTON —The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is doing a good job of collecting data on trucking carriers and motorcoach companies but they need to act on the information more quickly and put bad actors out of business before they cause fatalities, said outgoing National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman.
Hersman came to the board in 2004. She’s leaving to become president and CEO of the National Safety Council (NSC), the 100-year-old organization chartered by Congress to prevent unintentional injury and death.
She made the FMCSA comment in a question-and-answer session following a farewell luncheon address at the National Press Club April 21.
Hersman referenced four crashes last year, two motorcoach wrecks with fatalities and two fatal truck crashes, in which FMCSA had visited the carriers before the crashes and given them satisfactory ratings only to give them unsatisfactory ratings after the fatalities and put them out of service.
“We have to get the poor operators off the road before crashes and not after. They’re [FMCSA] collecting data and doing a good job of it but they have to act on that data” and get the bad actors “off the road and out of business permanently.”
Earlier in her career Hersman worked on legislation to create FMCSA, and was asked if the agency had lived up to her expectations.
During the Clinton Administration, the goal had been to reduce highway deaths by half during the next decade, she said, “But we’ve not driven down the fatality numbers. Overall, the numbers have gone up.”
She also said bad bus and truck companies create unfair competition because they operate without following the Hours of Service rules but that there are no incentives for companies that follow the rules.
She asked for a show of hands to see how many people knew how to get on the DOT/FMCSA website and look up a bus company’s safety record before chartering a motorcoach for a school or church trip. She added that more transparency was needed on the website.
Hersman also took rail regulators to task for being “behind the curve” in regulating rail transport of hazardous materials through communities across the country. She said there had been an over 440 percent increase in the number of rail cars carrying hazmat through communities but “the regulations haven’t changed.”
Asked if regulators were sometimes too close to the industries they were regulating Hersman said there always has to be a balance between a regulator who knows enough about the industry to ask the right questions and understand the workings and technology but independent enough to be willing to come up with answers that are “unfavorable.”
When asked what the high point of her career at NTSB had been, Hersman got a little choked up as she said, “Working with the people … our staff and board members and the safety advocates and the truckers … great people getting to work on a great mission.”
The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.
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Wednesday Apr 23, 2014 - Restart Rule Needs Re-Boot: Truck Researchers Say
ARLINGTON, VA - -The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has just released an analysis of the hours-of-service restart rules that went into effect July, 2013.

But according to the renowned American transportation consultants American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), they should really get back to the drawing board.

“ATRI’s analysis [of the FMCSA report] raises enough questions about FMCSA’s own study that should compel a comprehensive review of the entire rule,” comments Steve Rush, President of Carbon Express, Inc. in Wharton, NJ.

“FMCSA has heard loud and clear from carriers and drivers that the new rules are not advancing safety and are creating additional stress and fatigue on the part of truck drivers,” he added.

According to the ATRI, the FMCSA study suffered from design flaws, less-than-perfect measurement techniques and conflicting data.

The FMCSA study was completed as part of the Obama government’s MAP-21—a long-term surface transportation plan released in 2012.

Here’s what ATRI found was troubling about the FMCSA methodology:

· “The field study report purports to have measured differences between restarts with one and two nighttime periods (1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.) but instead measured differences in restarts that range from 34 hours to an unknown/non-limited number of hours off-duty.

· “MAP-21 required that the field study be ‘representative of the drivers and motor carriers regulated by the hours of service regulations’ but the study includes, on average, less than 12 days’ worth of data for each of only 106 drivers.

· “The FMCSA field study does not present research to support the limitation of the use of the 34-hour restart to once per week (168 hours).

· “Use of the three-minute Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT) showed lapses of attention by drivers in both duty cycle groups, but offered no link between the average number of lapses, fatigue and the safe operation of commercial vehicles.

· “The two duty cycle groups had lane deviation measurements that differed by 1/10th of a centimeter and the study authors provide no evidence that these findings are relevant or have a nexus to driver fatigue in either of the two groups.

· “The difference in sleep obtained by the two duty cycle groups on their restart breaks differed by only six minutes per 24-hour period.

· “Average driver scores on the subjective sleepiness scale did not indicate any level of sleepiness.

· The study confirms that drivers in the ‘two or more nighttime’ group are more likely to drive during the day; a time when FMCSA’s own data shows a higher crash risk.



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Tuesday Apr 22, 2014 - Air quality board considers easing diesel rules
The Associated Press

4/22/2014
LOS ANGELES — California air quality officials are considering giving small trucking operations more time to comply with new rules to clean up diesel emissions.
The proposal would push back deadlines by a few years for small fleets, lightly used trucks and those in rural areas with cleaner air, and offer other adjustments to assist truck owners, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday (http://lat.ms/1rfppR1 ).
The state Air Resources Board said even with the changes the state could still achieve 93 percent of pollution cuts envisioned through 2023. A vote is planned for Thursday.
The changes under consideration come in response to pressure from small trucking firms and owner-operators who have pleaded for more time to comply with rules requiring them to install costly new diesel particulate filters or upgrade to cleaner models. The rules took effect this year.
"We're all struggling," Allen Forsyth told the Times. Forsyth operates a three-truck fleet that hauls local freight near Los Angeles International Airport. "I used everything I had to buy a 2012 truck. But I'm absolutely broke now."
Environmentalists and other clean-air advocates have urged the board to limit amendments to the regulation and preserve what they call the single biggest step California has taken to reduce health risks from air pollution.
The proposed changes would slow the pace of cutting soot and smog-forming gases from the nation's most polluted basins in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, air quality officials acknowledge. But they say diesel emissions would fall to the same level as the existing regulation by 2020, when nearly every truck in the state will be required to have a filter to remove soot from its exhaust.
Diesel soot is by far the largest contributor to cancer risk of any air pollution source in California and was declared a toxic air contaminant by the state in 1998.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com
The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.
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Monday Apr 21, 2014 - E-log mandate to push droves of drivers from trucking?
Could the implementation of the electronic logging device mandate cause huge numbers of drivers to simply bow out and leave the industry out of frustration with perceived overregulation?

According to results from a recent survey done by CCJ publisher Randall-Reilly, a big chunk of drivers are threatening to leave the industry if the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s proposed ELD mandate comes to fruition, which could be as early as 2016.

The public comment period for the ELD mandate proposal opened Friday, March 28, and as of April 3, 20 comments had already been submitted. Commenters have come down on both sides of the issue, with ...

More than 70 percent of the more than 2,300 independent truckers surveyed said they’d retire or quit the industry if they’re required to use logging devices.
Another 52 percent of leased owner-operators and company drivers said they’d quit driving when the ELD mandate begins.

Whether they’ll follow up on these threats is not clear, but a more grounded and realistic expectation is that an ELD mandate could accelerate retirement of older truck drivers, says Jay Thompson, president of Transportation Business Associates.

“Those are the drivers I would expect to actually leave – those that see in [the mandate] a reason to go ahead and say ‘I’m done with it,’ ” he says.

It’s well known that while the American Trucking Associations and many fleets threw their support behind the ELD mandate in the MAP-21 rule (and before, with prior mandates), drivers and owner-operators have been skeptical of such a rule.

PieThompson, however, says once the mandate comes, he expects ” a really begrudging kind of adoption” by drivers and independents alike.

ATBS’ Todd Amen predicts a similar scenario, saying drivers who want a paycheck will use ELDs when the time comes. “I do think there are plenty of older independent contractors that are scared and stubborn,” Amen says. “But when it comes down to it, they’ll work under ELDs if they still need a paycheck, and most of them won’t be able to retire on Social Security [alone].”

The ELD mandate alone, however, may not be the issue, says Amen. It’s the piling-on effect for drivers, with the proposed mandate coming less than a year after restrictive hours rule changes that drivers say hurt their miles and pay. Both regulatory actions are unappealing to drivers who’ve been in the industry a while, Amen says.

Related
E-logs and harassment: 8 steps the new rule takes to deter driver harassment, coercion

In developing the electronic logging device mandate rule this go-around, FMCSA had to include provisions to properly ensure the devices couldn’t be used as a tool for carriers to harass drivers. Here's a look at ...

Post-adoption, however, drivers seem to become much more accepting of the devices, notes Artur Express’ Todd Walthall, recruiting manager for the carrier. “I have had people mention to me that they don’t know how they’ve gotten along without them” after making an initially reluctant transition, Walthall says. The 300-plus-truck carrier has 20 unites running with logging devices.
Amen, too, has seen a shift in attitudes of drivers even after just a few days of use. “It is not a big deal if the driver doesn’t make it a big deal,” Amen says, citing positives of taking “guesswork and burden” out of calculating hours and giving fleets the chance to plan better and help owner-operators boost their productivity.



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Monday Apr 21, 2014 - Bulk Freight Carriers Use New Online Radius Search to Find Loads Quicker
Nixa, MO (PRWEB) April 21, 2014

BulkLoads.com, a load posting website for the dry and liquid bulk freight industry, added two new load search options to refine the way carriers search for loads, making finding loads quicker and more convenient. The release comes as the fast-growing load board reaches a record number of loads posted.
Load postings are reaching record highs online as shippers continue to overcome various challenges from this past winter from the heavy demand of rail freight to bad weather. BulkLoads.com is averaging 39,000 posted loads currently and it continues to climb. With the increased volume of available loads the website recognized a need for carriers to refine their searches.
“As our load postings continue to reach record levels it became apparent we had to enhance our search features to help both our carriers and shippers connect on the best freight option the first time,” said Jared Flinn, Operating Partner at BulkLoads.com. “It’s just as important now for carriers to see all loads going to a specific destination to get them a reload or even see all load-by-origin radius going to a specific destination radius. These features can save carriers a tremendous amount of time and help them reduce empty miles, and get the load matched quicker for our shippers.”
Carriers have always been able to search by defining a state, equipment or load origin. Now using enhanced features on BulkLoads.com carriers can also search by radius of an origin to destination, or simply by radius of a destination.
“With every change and need we see, or hear about from our members, we’ll do our best to meet that need with a smart solution,” Matt Fredin, Operating Partner said. “We believe in listening to our members and responding quickly and effectively.”
About BulkLoadsNow.com
BulkLoadsNow.com is an online community of professionals in North American’s bulk freight industry. Our shipper members are transportation logistics managers of grain, fertilizer, aggregates, feed ingredients and all agriculture commodities. Our carrier members pull hopper bottoms, walking floors, end dump trailers, belt trailers, live floors, pneumatic and liquid tankers. We provide to our members the industry’s most innovative bulk freight solutions including an enhanced load board, database of all carriers in North America, instant communication tools, industry forums and news updates, and much more.



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Sunday Apr 20, 2014 - How this agriculture startup taps the cloud to grow strong and lean
By James Dornbrook
Kansas City Business Journal

In a city better known as the home of Sprint Corp. and Hallmark Cards Inc., it can be easy to forget that Kansas City remains a leading agricultural hub. Five of the largest private companies and the second-largest public company based in the area do business related to agriculture or food.

Companies such as Dairy Farmers of America, Lansing Trade Group LLC, Seaboard Corp., The Scoular Co., and Bartlett and Co. are not only reminders of Kansas City’s heritage — they are big employers that each generate billions of dollars a year in revenue.

What could become the area’s next agribusiness giant is sprouting up — rapidly and largely unnoticed outside its industry — in Leawood.

For more news from the Kansas City Business Journal, check out James Dornbrook's work.

Agspring, founded in 2012, operates from a few cubicles in the Archer Foundation’s business incubator. When it relocated there from an office across the street, the move took about 15 minutes.

Yet Agspring isn’t your typical startup. It can call upon executives with decades of high-level agribusiness experience and is backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in capital from a variety of private equity investors.

This combination has allowed Agspring to make six acquisitions since the beginning of 2013, including huge grain operations in Idaho and Louisiana that already make it one of the nation’s 20 largest grain storage and transportation operations.

Core Focus

President Brad Clark said Agspring is able to build its business without a huge office because its headquarters is a cloud-based operation, with all noncore functions outsourced.

“What is not core to our business are things like accounting, IT infrastructure and human resources,” Clark said. “In those cases, there are many organizations out there that make a business of outsourcing those noncore functions and have world-class capabilities.

“We outsource to them, allowing us to focus on our core business. It allows us to compete very, very quickly, and we’re able to field a world-class organization without having to build a very large staff internally to do that.”

Agspring scouts for agricultural supply chains whose local owners want a well-capitalized, highly experienced partner. Agspring buys the companies, provides the capital needed to modernize and expand them, and aggregates them into a larger company that is more competitive on a global basis.

The strategy calls for keeping current management of its acquisitions in place and investing to increase capacity and efficiency. With each acquisition, the various operations in the fold gain buying and selling power.

Agspring’s focus on outsourcing helps it grow quickly. It doesn’t have to slow down to build a large staff to handle the business issues that come with rapid growth. And through a stable of what it calls executives in residence, it can quickly bring high-level management skills to projects.

Roll-up strategy

Agspring CEO Randal Linville is a 30-year veteran of the agriculture and commodity industry. Linville previously was CEO of The Scoular Co., growing it into a nearly $5 billion- a-year operation before he left in 2009. Recently cleared of his noncompete agreement with Scoular, Linville has set his sights on growing Agspring into a big agribusiness player.

Linville’s partner is Clark, who previously was senior vice president of Embarq Logistics, leading its turnaround and divestiture in 2009. The two were introduced by their pastor after both expressed an interest in finding a new project to work on.

The pair established several charitable-minded social enterprises designed to improve the standard of living around the globe. Then they decided to up the ante and found Agspring, a for-profit endeavor that could provide a serious benefit to the world’s food supply.

Agspring’s first purchases point to what the company has in mind for the big picture. Its initial focus was on acquisitions that created Big River Rice and Grain, a major grain and rice storage and transportation operation in Louisiana. It then bought the Idaho grain operations of General Mills Inc.

“You’re seeing more companies that own the farm and all the real estate, produce the crop, handle the transportation, store it, turn it into packaged product and send it to the store,” said Ray Tubaugh, a senior vice president of commercial lending for Arvest Bank. “It’s now all vertically integrated.”

He said Agspring’s early purchases point to a strategy of starting in the middle of the supply chain and working outward toward owning the farms and processing plants.

Agspring’s most recent acquisitions bear out what Tubaugh outlined. It bought a food service brand called Simply Omega and an organic food producer called Organic ID, then combined them into an entity called Function-O Foods LLC.

Simply Omega is a line of branded and co-branded meats with naturally elevated levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a substance that can lower triglycerides and blood pressure. The company boosts levels of the healthy substance by feeding animals a mix that includes flaxseed or other omega-3-rich substances. Agspring is focused on ensuring the integrity of the supply chain for delivering the feed to the animals, slaughtering the animals and delivering the product to market.

The focus at Organic ID is very similar. It works with consumer packaged-good companies and processors of organic, nonpesticide or non-GMO (containing no genetically modified organisms) products, ensuring that these specialized crops are delivered and stored in a way that avoids co-mingling with regular agricultural products. Accomplishing that on a larger scale requires additional investment in infrastructure, such as storage and transportation, but it’s a highly lucrative market.

“Being truly organic is tough to do without any current-day production methods,” Tubaugh said. “It’s why you pay more for organic foods.”

The focus of Agspring’s roll-up strategy extends beyond the United States. Clark just returned from a trip to South America, where he sees a similarly fragmented agricultural market in need of investment capital.

Agspring is just getting started.

“The ethos and the thinking behind (Agspring) is the need for a large, well-capitalized company to aggregate this highly fragmented industry, to deliver more food across the globe to a growing population,” Clark said.

“We have to make money to sustain the organization, but the goal is to feed a changing world. A saying we have here is ‘Work hard, have fun, make money and feed the world.’”



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