Following Farm Deal With General Mills, Midwestern BioAg Nabs $15M

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Midwestern BioAg, a Madison, WI-based maker and vendor of fertilizers, seed, and other biological products that it says can help farmers boost soil fertility, has raised more than $15 million in new equity funding from three investors, according to a document filed with federal securities regulators.

The company works with farmers in Wisconsin and neighboring states, as well as large food producers such as General Mills (NYSE: GIS), to create farm management plans that Midwestern BioAg says can help customers save money while reducing their environmental footprint. The products it manufactures and distributes are designed to yield larger harvests, and improve soil health and crops’ nutritional content.

Some, but not all, of the fertilizers and livestock nutrition products Midwestern BioAg sells are certified as organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Midwestern BioAg has now raised more than $23 million in outside financing, SEC filings show.

Company leaders were not available Thursday or Friday to discuss what it plans to do with proceeds from the latest financing.

In March, Minneapolis-based General Mills said it would work with Midwestern BioAg to transition tens of thousands of acres of conventional farmland near Pierre, SD, into organic farmland over the next two years.

The breakfast cereal and consumer foods giant said a third company is also involved in the project: South Dakota-based Gunsmoke Farms, which owns the 34,000-acre plot of land that will be converted in order to grow certified organic wheat and other crops. Midwestern BioAg will provide General Mills with “on-the-ground mentorship for the farm operators to advance leading regenerative soil management practices such as no till, crop rotation, and cover cropping.”

General Mills said it will use wheat grown on the farm to make macaroni and other types of pasta sold under its Annie’s brand.

The three businesses involved in the project to convert Gunsmoke Farms into organic farmland say they also plan to plant more than 3,000 acres of pollinator habitat, which will be home to butterflies and several varieties of bees. General Mills says pollinator habitat can increase water quality and reduce soil erosion.

Midwestern BioAg said in a press release announcing the partnership that it sells its products in 29 U.S. states, and also has customers in Canada. According to the company’s website, it has three Wisconsin locations, plus another six in other Midwestern states.

As of late 2016, Midwestern BioAg had about 100 employees and annual sales of more than $40 million.