“Where the company goes from here, I can’t tell you,” Wasson says. “It’s gotten so big, I’m not sure where it’s going to go.”

While they consider the motor oil to be the grand slam, they have patents on many other products and hope to someday expand into a wide variety of biodegradable products. While it’s easy to get excited by the potential, Wasson says reality tends to throw in speed bumps.

For example, they were talking with the Department of Defense early on during development, hoping the product’s biodegradability would interest the military. An admiral told them he was less concerned about his ships leaking motor oil into the water than he was with hydraulic fluid.

The ships use hydraulic rams, which tend to leak. If the hydraulic fluid was biodegradable, it would alleviate a lot of problems. “We just don’t have the money to chase every rainbow,” Wasson says. “But that doesn’t mean it’s not there. That’s a business we’re not going to do, but somebody in ag sure could.”

And that would be just fine with the so-called “gang of seven” (see sidebar) who started with a small oilseed crusher and big dreams. “We have to bite our lips a little bit that maybe we’re not going to put as many jobs in Montana as we wanted,” Wasson says. “But maybe we’ll do it in ag. Maybe we can still smile at the end of the day because agriculture is better because we did this.”