Agri-Trans Corporation Christens New Towboat— The St. Louis-Built Cooperative Venture
Agri-Trans Corporation, a barging cooperative which transports grain and chemical fertilizer products on the inland waterways, recently christened a new 3,700- hp locking river towboat, the M/V Cooperative Venture. Mrs. Georgeanna Werner, wife of Melvin Werner, Agri-Trans's board vice chairman, inaugurated the vessel into service in the traditional manner by breaking a bottle of champagne across the forward capstan. Edward Renshaw, president of St. Louis Ship, served as master of ceremonies during the christening ceremonies.
Measuring 168 feet long, with a beam of 40 feet and 11-foot depth, the towboat will operate along the upper Mississippi River and Illinois Waterway. It is powered by two, 16-cylinder General Motors Electro-Motive diesel engines driving twin 102-inch-diameter stainless-steel propellers.
Built by St. Louis Ship Division of Pott Industries, the hull form, steering and flanking rudders are all specially shaped and arranged in accordance with extensive model-tank studies.
A c c o r d i n g to J.P. Doherty, chairman of Agri-Trans's board of directors, the towboat was purchased due to demand for increased grain and fertilizer distribution capability among the cooperatives which own Agri- Trans. "The river transportation requirements of our member cooperatives have grown steadily since our inception in 1974 and are forecast for continued expansion," he said. "Expansion of our towboat fleet improves our service capability and is financially advantageous in the long term." The Cooperative Venture is the second towboat added to the Agri-Trans fleet since the cooperative purchased the Rose Barge Line in June 1974.
Agri-Trans's member-owners include five Midwestern grain marketing cooperatives: Farmers Union Grain Terminal Association, St. Paul, Minn.; Farmers Grain Dealers of Iowa, Des Moines; Illinois Grain Corporation, Chicago; Missouri Farmers Association, Columbia, and St. Louis Grain Corporation. CF Industries, Inc. of Long Grove, 111., an interregional cooperative manufacturer and distributor of basic chemical fertilizers, is also a member of Agri-Trans and is responsible for operation of the barging cooperative through a long-term management contract.