OSAGE -- Stover Ventures LLC has announced Mitchell County has been selected as the site of its first demonstration plant, an estimated $20 million facility that is initially slated to create 15 jobs.

Construction is scheduled to begin in second quarter of 2018 on a 10-acre parcel in the Osage Northwest Industrial Park with the launch of production in early 2019. The Osage plant will be the first of several planned processing facilities.

Stover Ventures was formed in 2015 by Ag Ventures Alliance Cooperative (AgVA) of Mason City and Cellulose Sciences International (CSI) of Madison, Wisconsin, to improve the economics of grain producers, dairy farmers and beef growers.

Stover Ventures will produce a highly digestible feed product from excess corn stover - the stalk, leaves, husks and tassels left in the field after harvesting the grain with a combine. The forage is used in dairy cow and beef cattle diets and offers both economic and practical benefits. The treated forage is lower in cost than medium alfalfa or soy hulls and can be pelleted, cubed or fed wet.

The eco-friendly process also extracts powerful antioxidants for use in multiple industries including skin care, nutraceuticals, food and beverage ingredients and food and feed industry preservatives.

According to Jude Conway, treasurer of Stover Ventures, site selection proved to be a challenging process over the last several months.

“We looked at a dozen communities in Iowa and southern Minnesota and made site visits to four,” Conway said. “It came down to a combination of key factors: the number of cattle in Mitchell County and surrounding communities, cost of land, number of Ag Ventures Alliance members in the area and the leadership shown by the city of Osage and Mitchell County Economic Development Commission. We couldn’t be more pleased with our decision.”