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CHS Mountain West breaks ground on relocated agricultural facility in Kalispell

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CHS Mountain West broke ground Thursday on a $14.2 million relocated site at the new Glacier Rail Park in Kalispell. The move is a step toward redeveloping downtown.

With each turn of dirt, the years put into the relocation of the agriculture facility are finally paying off.

"Within the last eight to 10 years then it really picked up speed, and then in the last three years it really became a reality," said CHS Mountain West board chair and farmer Doug Manning.

It means hope for Flathead farmer Cap G.W. Ingham.

"This facility is so important to maintaining a rural atmosphere and farming in the valley," said Ingham.

The completed facility just off Whitefish Stage Road will hold a 470,000-bushel steel grain facility, a 4,700-ton fertilizer and product warehouse, a retail store and office.

"It gives us another opportunity, because we did merge with the Missoula group, and now we can actually expand our territory and take in more product," Manning told NBC Montana.

Kalispell’s CHS merged with Missoula’s Mountain West in 2016.

Kalispell Mayor Mark Johnson spoke at the event about how the relocation is bringing the people of Kalispell and Flathead County into the future of the area.

The location connects to the new Glacier Rail Park.

"It’s essential because we are out of the city, and we just didn't have the capacity and the space to do what needed to be done," Manning said.

Workers plan to have the facility built by February 2019 and operations running by spring of 2019.

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Planners say it will bring a new era of agriculture to western Montana.

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