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Beach Cooperative Grain has new leader: Hall says area, elevator a good fit for him

BEACH -- The Beach Cooperative Grain Co. has acquired a new asset. The co-op has a new manager, Levi Hall, who is working on projects to increase business. Since beginning on Nov. 2, Hall said he feels Beach is a good fit for him. "I really like ...

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Levi Hall, the new manager of the Beach Cooperative Grain Co., stands outside the elevator on Tuesday. (Sydney Mook/The Dickinson Press)

BEACH - The Beach Cooperative Grain Co. has acquired a new asset.

The co-op has a new manager, Levi Hall, who is working on projects to increase business.

Since beginning on Nov. 2, Hall said he feels Beach is a good fit for him.

“I really like the area, and it was a good career move, and the people out here seemed like the type of people that I really enjoy dealing with,” he said.

The co-op deals with many different types of grain, including corn, spring wheat, peas and lentils. The facility also has a full agronomy center.

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A native of Berthold, Hall majored in agribusiness and agricultural economics at North Dakota State University before becoming a grain merchandiser in Park River.

He later took the same position in Argyle, Minn., before coming to Beach.

Don Hardy, the vice president of the co-op’s board of directors, said the board came across Hall through contacts in the grain industry that highly recommended him.

Since bringing him on, Hardy said he and the rest of the board thought Hall was doing a good job.

“He comes to us with a great understanding of how grain markets work,” Hardy said.

Hall said a day as the co-op’s manager typically begins with checking the outside markets and reading grain commentary, as well as seeing what the news is for the day. He also works with buyers and coordinates sales contracts, as well as loading operations are running smooth.

“Lots of interesting aspects that you don’t know about or don’t think about until you’re in a position like this,” Hall said.

There are also longer-term projects he’s working to secure, one of which is an expansion project that is planned to greatly increase the co-op’s 52-car capacity.

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Hall said he has also spent a good amount of time working for the Beach Cooperative Grain Co. to lease the Equity Co-op Association in Baker, Mont.

He said the “wild card of the day” usually comes from personnel issues, where someone might not understand how do something.

Hardy said the elevator opened in 1911 under a different name, and it became the Beach Cooperative Grain Co. in 1918.

He said it’s remained an independent co-op owned by its patrons throughout the company’s history, which he said is somewhat unusual.

“A lot of current employees have been there for a number of years,” he said, adding some had worked there around 30 years.

As of now, Hardy said around 1,200 people own a share in the business.

Hall said the grain that flows through the co-op is transported around the country, though its main buyers are mills in California, Arizona and Illinois.

Hall said that, despite the nationwide slump in commodity prices, the co-op hasn’t been affected too much.

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“It’s forced elevators to be competitive,” he said.

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