Southern Manitoba oat plant receives $5.1 million in federal financing for first-in-Canada kiln

A crane lowers a Revtech kiln into Buffalo Creek Mills’ oat plant near Altona, Manitoba in September 2021 (photo courtesy Buffalo Creek Mills/Facebook)

The federal government is providing up to $5.1 million in financing to help an oat plant near Altona, Man. set up a first-in-Canada oat kiln for processing oats into food ingredients.

Winnipeg South MP Terry Duguid announced the repayable contribution for Buffalo Creek Mills in a virtual press conference on Monday.

The funds, which come from the AgriInnovate program, will go toward a customized continuous oat kiln as part of a series of major upgrades to the facility, which started processing oats in 2015.

“The award of this AgriInnovate funding has enabled our company to start a capital expansion project that includes the installation of state-of-the-art equipment that will produce both conventional and emerging new oat products for human consumption,” says Buffalo Creek Mills CEO Ryan Penner.

Upon completion of the expansion, Penner says the company will have grown from three employees at its inception to a projected 45 employees, and will be able to process 54 thousand metric tonnes of oats per year.

The company installed the Revtech continuous kiln for processing oat flakes in September (as pictured above).

Kilning is an important step in stabilizing oats to eliminate enzyme activity that causes rancidity.

Buffalo Creek currently produces non-stabilized oat groats for sales in the North American market, and processes them into a variety of commercial human-grade oat products, as well as pet-grade products, and hull pellets for animal feed, pet food and biofuels.

The AgriInnovate program requires applicants fund at least 50 per cent of project costs.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify the federal government is providing a repayable contribution, not a grant.

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