PHILLIPSBURG – Governor Laura Kelly today joined Amber Wave, a leader in sustainable agriculture, food ingredients, and low-carbon fuels, to cut the ribbon on a state-of-the-art wheat protein ingredients facility in Phillipsburg that will be the largest wheat protein producer in North America within two years. The company is investing more than $250 million into the facility and is creating more than 60 new jobs as it ramps up to full capacity.
The ribbon-cutting comes during the Governor’s Prosperity on the Plains tour promoting economic development in Kansas.
“Kansas is known for its high-quality wheat, and this cutting-edge facility will strengthen the competitive edge we have in the market,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Now, Kansas wheat farming families will have a massive direct buyer close to home and major food, baking, and pet food companies are able to have their wheat needs met here in Phillipsburg. This investment shows why our constant efforts to bring businesses to Kansas matter: Every local business owner and community member benefits.”
The plant’s location puts it in the heart of the country with rail access to both coasts and core Midwest customers for the diverse variety of products being made in Phillipsburg. All the wheat Amber Wave needs is grown within 100 miles of the plant.
“This is a big win not just for Phillipsburg and western Kansas but the entire state,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Amber Wave’s facility underscores Governor Kelly’s continued commitment to increasing prosperity in all areas of the Kansas.”
In addition to building a wheat mill and vital wheat gluten plant, the company retrofitted the existing Prairie Horizon Agri-Energy corn-based ethanol plant to produce ethanol from wheat starch. The plant will use the latest technology in wheat milling and protein extraction while creating a significantly lower carbon footprint than traditional corn ethanol plants to produce biofuels.
“Recognizing the rising demand for high-protein ingredients and innovative feed products, coupled with renewable fuels that reduce our carbon footprint, this investment fits with what we have successfully done many times in Summit’s history,” said Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group, Amber Wave’s parent organization. “We evaluated several sites in various wheat-growing areas and Prairie Horizon is ideally located. The wheat protein we will produce is a healthy ingredient used widely within baked goods, pet food and growing aquaculture feed markets.”
“Today, wheat protein demand in the U.S. is heavily reliant on imports,” Rastetter said, “and with consumers demanding more transparency about the origins of the food they eat, we see a real opportunity.”