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Despite the frigid wind and blowing snowflakes, smiles could be seen all around as Phil Hinrichs officially cut the ribbon at the Hinrichs site. Hinrichs, the owner of the company, and Ken Fichtler, Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, on Hinrichs’ right, were among the guest speakers at the ribbon-cutting event on Nov. 1.

Photo by Jennifer Van Heel

As the wind blew specks of snow through the air, approximately 20 people gathered to welcome Hinrichs during their outdoor ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 1. 

Four speakers had been scheduled for the event but due to the adverse weather conditions Montana Department of Agriculture Director Ben Thomas was unable to attend. The remaining three, Mayor Larry Bonderud, owner Phil Hinrichs and Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Ken Fichtler, all spoke briefly about the importance of agriculture, the continued growth of the industry and their dedication to playing a part in it.

Fichtler read a letter from Thomas, who praised the Golden Triangle, stating “Some of the world’s best ag products come from this area, and it’s not by accident. It’s due to hard work, foresight, and leadership that our producers display every single day.”

Fichtler then went on to point out that while the best crops in the world can be produced right here, getting them distributed is just as vital, making a company like Hinrichs invaluable to the area.

“Whether it’s pulses or wheat, people around the world demand the high quality of Montana’s ag products, so having the infrastructure to move these products is vitally important,” he stated. “With the presence of Hinrichs here in Shelby, our producers have another option to get their products where they need to be.”

While the means to move crops is vital, not just any company would be able to fit into the community and find success. Phil Hinrichs feels Shelby is a great fit for his company, not only because of its multimodal facility, but because it is a small, family-oriented community.

“We are used to small communities, that’s where we want to be,” said Hinrichs. “This is a fourth-generation run company, with the fifth generation coming up. It’s our family legacy. We aren’t here just briefly, we signed a long-term contract, we’re here for the long haul.”

As of Nov. 1 Hinrichs has been operating for 45 days and things are only looking to get busier as they move forward with the construction of their bulk plant. 

“We are building a facility,” said Hinrichs, pointing out where it will be. “We’re six months away from growing season, we will be ready.”

In the meantime, Hinrichs offers the community an open invitation to come out and take a look, “we drive the bronze pickups, those are our trademark. If one is here, so are we.” 

Hinrichs is located just east of town at 733 East Front Street. More information on the company is also available online at hinrichstrading.com.

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