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By Michele Smith
The Times 

From Wheat Field to Pulp Plant

Columbia Straw Supply is Gearing Up to Deliver Straw to Columbia Pulp's Lyons Ferry Plant


Michele Smith

More than 60,000 tons of straw from the 2017 harvest are stored at the top of the hill above the Columbia Straw Supply office, on land leased from Tucannon Ag. Each stack approaches 10,000 tons, according to Columbia Straw Supply CEO Phil Farmer.

STARBUCK-Phil Farmer, CEO of Columbia Straw Supply, said he and business partner, CFO Ben Rankin, were brought in on the straw supply side of Columbia Pulp's business by its CEO, John Begley, four years ago.

Farmer said the principals knew, early on, there could be a logistical nightmare for rounding up 500,000 bales of straw each year, having it delivered to the scale, storing it, moving it around, and turning it into a continuous feed for the pulp mill.

"The intent in creating Columbia Straw was to not have the pulp mill get bogged down with [acquiring straw], so they could focus on making p...

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