All along, “all Farm Bureau wanted was to see if we could bring a company in that could return Port Allen to the status of flagship export facility, a one-and-only for that company,” says Bollich. “In Dreyfus, we have that. We’re confident, based on what their investment plans: probably over $100 million over the life of the lease.

“American agriculture – whether you farm here, or Minnesota, or wherever (and I worked for Cargill in Illinois for four good years) -- need to celebrate things like this Dreyfus deal. We’re fortunate to have the big, international grain exporters already in place. But anytime you can add another player on the river, that isn’t an intangible benefit to farmers. It will be a direct benefit to U.S. grain farmers. To have another competitor, one without its own network, is a huge plus for Mid-South and Midwest agriculture.”

Salassi says “probably the most important point to underscore about this is that this is a deal in which everyone comes out a winner. The port has a new tenant which will provide increased revenue and significant facility improvements to the port. Increased shipping activity will provide more work for pilots, longshoremen and others working on the river. And, most importantly for agriculture, a new entrant into the Mississippi River grain market will be competitive in bidding up prices for grain producers.”