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Belden business elevates services with change in ownership

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BELDEN — A local elevator will remain a vital part of this small community with a change of ownership.

Tim Gubbels, Yankton, S.D., and Mike Victor, Laurel, purchased Belden Grain & Feed and took over ownership from the Berner family of Belden last week.

The business on Highway 20 was put up for sale about a year ago after Brian Berner died in May 2020, Gubbels said, and it took a personal phone call from Clarette Berner to consider purchasing it.

“It’s been in Clarette’s family for a long time,” Gubbels said, and she wanted someone to run it as a business - not just storage. “This area needs some competition in the grain business ... There’s hardly any little elevators left anymore.”

Gubbels has been in the grain business since 1983 when he purchased Northside Grain in Laurel with his wife, Ebbie.

“I had been trying to sell mine for a couple of years and gave up on doing it,” he said. “I’m supposed to be slowing down at 64, not buying another business, but what do you do?”

The Belden business will undergo a slight name change to Belden Grain LLC. It will also be offering more cash-and-carry chemicals for farmers, but no application services. Contract services on grain will include fixed price, basis and minimum; and the elevator will provide storage on corn and beans.

Thomas Larson of Laurel and Dennis “Woodchuck” Sothen of Belden will continue to provide one-on-one personal service for customers.

“We’re looking forward to meeting new customers and welcoming past patrons to continue to do business with us,” Gubbels said.

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