As the first elevator along the Mississippi River where a ship can dock, Louisiana’s state-owned Port Allen grain facility has always had the potential to be a game-changer. Now, with new long-term tenant Louis Dreyfus and a major infrastructure improvement plan in place, the aging port facility is set to reach that potential. And Louisiana agriculture officials believe the impact of Dreyfus’ takeover will mean more money for farmers who deliver grain to riverside grain elevators.

When the strategically-located elevator’s lease came open “we had a fiduciary responsibility to consider what’s best for farmers, for the region, for the state, for the port,” says Mike Strain, Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture.

That meant weighing lease proposals by Cargill and Dreyfus. Cargill, which had leased the facility for 55 years, has a long history in the area. Dreyfus was the enthusiastic fresh face.