Photo:  This grain elevator was purchased by the North Pine Farmer’s Institute – Kimberley Molina/

The newest acquisition of the North Pine Farmer’s Institute has officially opened.

Local dignitaries, along with members of the Institute and members of the public were on hand to witness speeches and a ribbon cutting ceremony at a grain elevator, located off the East Bypass, in Fort St. John.

Both Peace River MLAs, members of the Fort St. John City Council and members of the Peace River Regional District all offered their congratulations on the acquisition. Chetwynd Mayor Evan Saugstad said the purchase of the elevator shows the importance of agriculture to the area.

PRRD Chair Karen Goodings also offered her congratulations and said the project was the result of several hours of hard work by the Farmer’s Institute. She added that many people were proven wrong when they thought the project would never be completed.

The elevator was purchased for just under $800,000, but necessary repairs to the structure cost an additional $800,000, Larry Houley had told

The repairs are expected to allow the building to remain in operation for another 10 years.

With the acquisition, the Institute also acquired nearly 500 metres of siding on the railway track that could enable farmers to transport grain via trains in the future.