Benson, MN has a proud history of embracing and supporting innovative industries. And the businesses and organizations that support the people who live and work in the area. Three of these innovative industries are outlined below:
The first plant in the nation that generates electricity from burning biomass in the form of turkey litter (turkey poop) and wood chips. The plant began operation in 2007 with a nameplate capacity of 55 megawatt.
An alternative energy company that produces automotive fuel (ethanol) from corn (biomass). Protein and fat from the corn becomes a livestock feed in the form of "Dried Distillers Grain" and "Wet Cake". A "Corn Oil" byproduct is used in biodiesel production and as an animal feed. The plant started as a dream between two men in the 1990's and started production in 1996.
In the 1950's Loran Tyler saw that farmers had started to use larger quantities of commercial fertilizer. And it was no longer feasible to handle all of that fertilizer in bags. So in 1958 Loran started manufacturing equipment to apply bulk commercial fertilizer. Ivan Bowen bought the business in 1965 and expanded the line to include fertilizer: spreaders, applicators, tenders, blenders, conveyors, etc. The business became the largest manufacturer of fertilizer equipment in the nation. The business was sold to Case in 1998, which is now part of CNH Industrial. The focus today is on manufacturing: Large Agricultural Sprayers, Large Fertilizer Applicators and Cotton Pickers. CNH Industrial is the largest manufacturer in the Benson, MN area.