North Dakota’s Public Service Commission has filed insolvency charges against Earth Harvest Mills in Harvey, ND a company that has received millions in government subsidies.
We first wrote about this company back in 2010, and last week we covered the company getting more than $12 million in subsidies including $2.64 million in grants and “investments” through the North Dakota Commerce Department.
Through a request to the USDA, it’s now clear that the total subsidies received by Earth Harvest Mills since 2002 tops $13 million.
I put in a request to USDA Rural Development Director Jasper Schneider’s office regarding any outstanding loan guarantees to the company and the outstanding balances. In response, Deputy Director William Davis indicated two loan guarantees – the $7.3 million we wrote about previously and a $1.1 million guarantee from 2003 – that are currently outstanding through The National Bank of Harvey.
Despite my having requested the information, the letter didn’t provide what remains to be paid off on these loans.
Online reports indicate that the company did pay off a $2.2 million USDA-guaranteed loan, but what remains to be paid off from the USDA’s other loans and what, if any, money is owed to the State of North Dakota remains unclear despite my requests to the USDA and the North Dakota Commerce Department. I’m making follow-up requests to both agencies.
But it’s quickly becoming clear that Earth Harvest Mills is an economic development flop that few of these officials are eager to talk about.