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University of Minnesota Extension

Karlstad farm elevator closure

Corn at grain elevator.

Key findings

  • The loss of three jobs at the farm elevator will affect an estimated five jobs in Kittson County.
    • Workers at Main Street businesses — restaurants, grocery stores and general merchandise retailers — will see their jobs affected as elevator workers have less disposable income to spend in the community.
    • Businesses supplying the elevator will also be affected.
  • The loss of three jobs is predicted to cause a decline in economic output of an estimated $698,200 in Kittson County.
    • This includes an estimated $190,400 of lost labor income in the county.
    • Wholesale trade jobs (including farm elevator) jobs are important to Kittson County, accounting for 6.2 percent of all jobs.
  • On a positive note, the relatively tight labor market, especially in wholesale trade, may provide an opportunity for employees of the Karlstad Farmers Elevator to obtain new employment.
    • As this happens, the effects of lost income should dissipate relatively quickly.
    • Should farmers sell to other elevators in Kittson County, those facilities may increase employment, offsetting some of the effects.

About this report

In early May 2019, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture provided notice that the Karlstad Farmers Elevator would be closing its doors. The elevator had two full-time employees and one part-time employee. The elevator’s closing has implications for Karlstad’s economy. The loss of an employer affects not only those at the elevator but also many community members.

To respond to this economic change, decision-makers in Karlstad and Kittson County need information about the potential economic impact of the Karlstad elevator closure. University of Minnesota Extension prepared this economic emergency report in partnership with the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Center at the University of Minnesota.

The data, analysis, and findings described in this report are specific to the geography, period, and project requirements of Kittson County. Findings are not transferable to other jurisdictions.

Read full report

University of Minnesota Extension prepared this report in partnership with the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Center at the University of Minnesota. The EDA Center at University of Minnesota is part of the University Center network. University Centers have the mission of connecting University resources with the economic development community. The U.S. Economic Development Administration, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, funds the centers.


Brigid Tuck, Extension senior economic impact analyst

Reviewed in 2021

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