Agriculture in all its forms is a major established industry and also one open for growth. The GCDC is eager to assist existing and new farms and businesses in finding the right location, resources, and permissions for them to grow. A new dairy plant in Brookings (to the south on I-29) means that the demand for dairy will be increasing; helping existing dairies to grow, as well as enticing those looking to relocate is a major goal for the region. Beef cattle is another growth area, with interest being expressed and supported to increase production in the county. The primary crop production in the area is corn and soybeans; some of the corn is processed locally at an ethanol plant, but much of the corn and the majority of the soybeans are shipped out (by rail and truck).
Milbank has excellent access to the I-29 corridor within 25 minutes on US Highway 12, and rail transport is also a strength with lines to Milbank, as well as to smaller towns and throughout the county. In addition to proximity to I-29, Grant County sits on the South Dakota-Minnesota border and has direct highway access into Ortonville, MN and its multiple highways into Minnesota.
Industry is currently based primarily around the dairies, with several cheese/dairy factories established in Milbank. Small manufacturing is a desired area of development, as the strong agricultural base of the region could provide local support for the production of farm machinery, small engines, irrigation equipment, etc.
A potential niche industry could be developed around the granite quarry. At present the majority of the granite is shipped out of the region with minimal processing and is used mainly in large construction. Headstones are also a popular use for the granite, and there are a few small businesses in the region producing granite headstones. There is one business in the area which produces granite for use in the home, but they don’t use much of the local granite. Any business needing easy access and proximity to a source of granite should be part of the audience for this site.