Ports & Terminals

Corn Belt Ports Opens Regional Office At Culver-Stockton College

The Corn Belt Ports opened a third regional office January 18 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the campus of Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., on the Mississippi River. The Canton office joins other newly opened Corn Belt Ports offices in Peoria, Ill., and on the Western Illinois University campus in the Quad Cities. A fourth office in the La Crosse, Wis. / Winona, Minn., area is expected to open by the end of February, according to Corn Belt Ports Executive Coordinator Robert Sinkler.

Sinkler said the Canton location is a good fit for the Corn Belt Ports. The new office is located in the Johnson-Turner Innovation, Design and Experimental Activities Center. The Tri-State Development Summit is also located on campus.

Culver-Stockton College is a small liberal arts college of about 1,000 students, located on a hill overlooking the Mississippi River. Its former president, Doug Palmer, is the son of Barry Palmer, who directed the Association for the Development of Inland Navigation in America’s Ohio Valley (DINAMO) and led Waterways Council Inc., until his retirement in 2008.  Doug Palmer left Culver-Stockon in March 2023 to become president of Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich.

Under Palmer, who became Culver-Stockton College’s 27th president in 2020, a research center at Culver-Stockton was established to increase students’ awareness of the importance of river transportation. The Great River Research Center will “transform the region and beyond by cultivating innovation, promoting interdisciplinary problem-solving, fostering the expansion of academic-industry partnerships and developing an environment for collaborative impact to study, research and address the current and emerging economic and social importance of the Mississippi River,” according to the college’s website.

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Sinkler, a former commander of the Rock Island Engineer District, has spearheaded efforts to group river terminals on the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois into statistical port districts to increase awareness and attract grants for further development.