In December, we covered three successful companies that are proud to have major locations in Butte: Resodyn Corporation, REC Silicon and Headframe Spirits. Though the industries were purposefully diverse in the original article — featuring a commercial technologies development company, a world leader in silicon production and a local distillery that continues to rapidly expand — we know that such a small number of companies cannot possibly be representative of Butte business as a whole.
So, to paint a slightly more complete picture of the Mining City’s industrial scene, we’ve selected three more successful companies with strong local ties — one of which is located in the Montana Connections Business Development Park (MCBDP).
Scoular is one of the largest agricultural commodities and services corporations in the world. The company has a long history in the grain industry, having started as a grain and lumber mill in 1892. Since its conception, however, the company has grown rapidly and now boasts over a thousand employees, 23 offices and a 131-million-bushel storage capacity worldwide. According to Forbes, it is the 81st largest privately held company in the US.
Scoular’s distinct product selection includes not just grains, oilseeds and other food ingredients, but also logistic solutions and systems. As a company that “provides diverse supply chain solutions for end-users and suppliers”, location is a priority — and while the Butte facility is certainly not the only location, it stands out among the others as the most northern stop on the UP railroad, allowing for a close connection to regional growers. Scoular’s presence in the MCBDP exemplifies the park’s geographic advantage for large-scale ground distributors.
Montana Aerospace Development Association
As you can probably imagine, rocket science isn’t the most accessible industry — but that’s why there are organizations like the Montana Aerospace Development Association (MADA). Combining statewide support with connections to associated national members, MADA provides resources to individual aerospace companies that may struggle to gain much political or financial traction otherwise.
One example of the resources MADA provides is the Butte AeroTec Facility, an advanced energy and aerospace technology test and evaluation center. The first of the companies to use the facility — Space Propulsion Group (SPG) — noted better amenities than similar facilities in California, contributing to both the success of trials as well as the responsible use of funding. In March 2009, SPG initiated a series of hybrid rocket motor tests to determine the success of their paraffin wax/liquid oxygen propellant, a much safer and environmentally benign alternative to other common propellants. The fuel, said to be key in eventually collecting soil from Mars, is still being tested at the Butte facility.
The Peak Inc.
The Peak Inc. is a certified training company dedicated to conditioning military special operations units, elite law enforcement, wilderness professionals and outdoor enthusiasts — training “the best to be better”. The facility is the brainchild of owner/operator Rod Alne, an Air Force pararescue veteran, who noticed fellow soldiers struggling with altitude sickness during his deployment in Afghanistan.
Housed in a hangar at Bert Mooney Airport, The Peak Inc. offers a variety of courses designed to teach survival in extreme, high-altitude conditions. From wilderness medicine to parachuting to high-angle shooting, The Peak Inc. team prepares locals and visitors alike to thrive in dangerous environments. Because of its easy access to the outdoors, low cost of living and enthusiastic support of military by locals, Butte was an easy choice for headquarters.