Kalmbach Feeds Inc. has contracted with TruStar Energy to build a public compressed natural gas fast-fill station near its Wyandot County, Ohio manufacturing plants and distribution center. Kalmbach Feeds is a produces and distributes animal feed nutritional products throughout the eastern half of the United States.

The station is part of a new venture, Kalmbach Clean Fuels, and will support Kalmbach's compressed natural gas -powered feed distribution trucks. Located near the intersection of US 30 and US 23, the new station will allow other compressed natural gas fleets and individual vehicle owners to take advantage of the benefits of the clean-burning, domestically produced fuel. Kalmbach Clean Fuels will be the first public compressed natural gas station in rural Ohio and will also host a maintenance garage for all CNG vehicles.

Kalmbach's Director of Distribution, Tim Rausch, was charged with the task of developing a fueling strategy that best utilizes company resources, with the intent of transitioning away from foreign oil. "Our president, Paul Kalmbach, wanted a 'made in America' solution to our fueling needs, and with natural gas - we believe we found the right solution," Rausch said.

Company founders Milton and Ruth Kalmbach envisioned innovative ways to produce and distribute animal feeds when they began Kalmbach Feeds in 1963. Fifty years later, the company looked at compressed natural gas to power their vehicles - and to offer that infrastructure to the public.

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"Regarding compressed natural gas, there has always been the discussion of whether to buy compressed natural gas trucks - or wait until there were fueling stations available - the classic 'chicken or the egg' dilemma. The trucking industry needs leaders who are willing to invest in new technology," said Rausch, adding, "Kalmbach Feeds is stepping forward to develop that infrastructure to move the industry forward."

The fast-fill station, slated for completion in early November, will allow two vehicles to fuel simultaneously, via fueling dispensers that function similar to standard diesel fuel pumps. The station will provide 24-hour, on-demand fueling by customers using standard fueling cards or major credit cards.

Rausch said that Kalmbach Feeds is planning to transition the entire fleet to either dedicated compressed natural gas or a combination of compressed natural gas/dual-fuel powered vehicles within 10 years.