Funding for a soybean crush and biodiesel facility in northwest Minnesota is now official, after Gov. Tim Walz signed the omnibus agriculture finance bill, paving the way for $5 million in funding for the Soy Innovation Campus at the University of Minnesota Crookston.

"This is a dream come true for farmers in northwest Minnesota," says Mike Skaug, who farms near Crookston in Polk County, and is a director with the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association (MSGA). "We've always viewed the Soy Innovation Campus as a game-changer for our region's economy, and we're grateful the legislature and Walz administration see the same potential that we do."

The funding will go into effect in the second half of the biennium budget in July 2020.

The University of Minnesota Extension, along with the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC), conducted an economic impact study of a soybean crush and biodiesel facility, which Epitome Energy is looking to construct on Crookston’s south end.

The Soy Innovation Campus will have a specialty crushing facility and will be home to a viewing area conducive to teaching classes or hosting tours.