Inland Port Dillon Changed The Game For C&M

Inland Port Dillon changed the game for C&M in Dillon County.
Leslie C. Thompson, co-owner of C&M, spoke as part of the panel on the economic impact of SC Ports on the Pee Dee at a luncheon recently.
Thompson, who co-owns C&M with Richard L. Myers, gave some of history of C&M and how they have been impacted by the port
Her father, Robert Coleman, and Rick Myers, began C&M in the late 1980 as a farrow to finish hog farm grinding and making their own feed.
Through the years, they began to purchase grain from the local farmers. They didn’t realize it then, but this was the beginning of C&M Grain.
Over the years, they added grain storage and trucks in order to become competitive in the grain market. When it was officially announced that Dillon Inland Port was coming to town, Dillon County was all the buzz on what this would mean for everyone in the area and how to be a part of it.
C&M had received a couple of opportunities from grain dealers on some options of transloading beans for their companies, and while this was very exciting and interesting to them, they did not want to give up on the farmer relationships they had established over the years. After all the local farmers were willing to let them in the grain market to feed their livestock and maybe, this would be the chance to make a bigger difference in the agriculture community.
Over the years, C&M had several grain transactions with Palmetto Grain/Performance Ag and decided to meet one afternoon with Edgar Woods to discuss what each of them could do to expand their outreach in the soybean market and create ways to advance farmers with new opportunities with foreign trade. Performance Ag had experience with foreign trade and C&M was sitting in just the right location of the Inland port. They have developed a system of two companies working independently, yet side by side, to help advance agriculture in not only Dillon County, but surrounding counties also.
More calls and discussions were made and then Bob Reinecke with the SC Ports Authority came out to the farm to meet with them. It was then that C&M began what would become the first phase of expansion. New scales, a large belt loader, and a larger office were needed just to name a few of the things. Reinecke and the Dillon Inland Port staff, Michael Elmore, and Rachel Jackson, worked closely with them making sure that they would be ready. They provided a checklist of what was needed and connected the dotes from state and federal requirements, and many more trucking requirements.
When they began transloading, their storage capacity of 362,500 bushels with two elevators, a grain dryer, and 15 Peterbilt trucks. The first year went well with lots of learning curves.
At the end of the second year, they realized they needed more storage and to be more efficient with time so they began the second phase of expansion and there was more to follow. Over the next years, new bins and a third elevator were erected, and a few months ago, they completed their second scale. Currently, their total storage has grown to 858,500 bushels.
For the 2022 bean season, C&M moved roughly 3,440 containers of beans compared to 830 containers in the first year—an increase of 315 percent. They are now reaching farmers from the following counties in South Carolina and North Carolina: Dillon, Marlboro, Marion, Florence, Williamsburg, Darlington, Chesterfield, Horry, Lee, Clarendon, and Robeson.
For the soybean harvest year 2022 in the state of South Carolina, there were 14,430,000 bushels harvested and 23 percent were put through C&M’s facility.
“Here at C&M, it is an honor and a pleasure ot serve the agriculture community,” said Thompson.
“We truly enjoy working with and seeing all the farmers and the drivers every harvest season.”
“The Dillon Inland Port has helped to give the farmers of South Carolina a boost in basic support by connecting them to the foreign trade market and in return, this flows through to all local businesses related to agriculture,” Thompson said.

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