Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission

Not business as usual

May 15, 2020

Not business as usual
Businesses in the region that have been shuttered for weeks by the pandemic are gearing up to reopen their doors, but they don’t expect things will suddenly be back to normal Monday morning. To say that the owners of Mill Pond Mercantile in New London are eager to reopen their gift and home decor shop would be an understatement. “I cannot tell you how thrilled and relieved we are,” said Ginny Knapp, who owns the popular store with co-owner Anita Stulen. “This is our livelihood. This is how

Willmar Wye construction to restart next week

April 20, 2020

Willmar Wye construction to restart next week
WILLMAR—As warmer weather returns, the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Hoffmann Group, contractor for the project, are getting ready to restart work on the Willmar Wye railroad bypass project on the west side of Willmar. According to a project update from MnDOT, crews will begin construction next week on the new U.S. Highway 12 bridge, which will go over the rail line to be constructed by BNSF Railway. Also next week, grading will be prepared for sidewalk and median concrete at the

Ag Innovation conference Thursday in Willmar

July 27, 2019

Ag Innovation conference Thursday in Willmar
WILLMAR—Two local entities that have worked independently to provide information and opportunities for the agriculture industry are teaming up for a one-day conference Thursday in Willmar. Topics for the first-ever Partners in Ag Innovation Conference include new opportunities for industrial hemp, ag technology, marketing trends, government regulations and the art of cooking—and eating—locally-grown foods. The conference runs from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. The

Large Willmar Industrial Park development has been put on hold

February 14, 2019

Large Willmar Industrial Park development has been put on hold
WILLMAR—The logistics company that had been planning on building a large facility in the Willmar Industrial Park has slammed the brakes on the project. Aaron Backman, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission director, and Sarah Swedburg, interim Willmar Planning and Development Services director, announced the news at Thursday’s EDC joint operations board meeting. “They have decided to hold off on the closing of the land,” Backman said. The company was to purchase

Local interest in growing and processing hemp: EDC committee will conduct feasibility study for market options

November 21, 2018

Local interest in growing and processing hemp: EDC committee will conduct feasibility study for market options
WILLMAR— With the potential for high per-acre profits there’s increasing interest in growing industrial hemp on west central Minnesota farms. But with limited processing options available, an untested market chain and federal law that still classifies industrial hemp as a controlled substance, there are a few roadblocks yet to overcome. That’s why a feasibility study that could detail the financial risks and gains of growing, processing and marketing industrial hemp is expected to be

Workshop explores industrial hemp value chain

November 8, 2018

Workshop explores industrial hemp value chain
WILLMAR—In an effort to diversify their farming operation, the Hultgren family planted 40 acres of organic industrial hemp this year on their land in northern Kandiyohi County. After making adjustments on the combine to prevent the rope-like stems from wrapping around the equipment, the hemp seeds were harvested and cleaned in September. “I thought it went OK,” said Noah Hultgren, who farms with his brother, Nate, and parents Duane and Nancy Hultgren. With a history of planting corn,

15th Street Flats expected to break ground next month

August 24, 2018

15th Street Flats expected to break ground next month
WILLMAR—The way is clear for Commonwealth Development to break ground 15th Street Flats, the new multi-unit housing project which will offer 47 apartments for a wide range of Willmar renters. The Willmar City Council this week approved the tax increment financing development agreement between the city and developer, the last step before construction. “They hope to break ground next month,” said Bruce Peterson, Willmar Planning and Development Services director, speaking at Monday’s