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6th Graders of Thunder Bay Junior High Travel to Lafarge for an Educational Trip

For over 10 years Lafarge in Alpena has been educating students with a trip to the cement plant of Northeast Michigan.

Tour Guide and Engineer at Lafarge, Janelle Baier said trips like Tuesday’s offers community relationships with the people of Alpena, and the company.

Tuesday’s trip helped students tour the plant while learning more about limestone for their rock project.

“We offer them an opportunity to go see the Quarry to go along with their rock cycle project that they are working on. We also talk a little bit about the opportunities the plant has for employment, and also some career choices they could make here,” Baier said.

There was full excitement throughout the tour as students traveled inside of the Quarry, made rock chocolate cookies, and visited labs.

“Today we did a cookie making project where they actually learned about how cement is made using raw materials, and how it goes through the process. We also teach the difference between cement and concrete and how it relates to our industry,” Baier said.

Some key factors that students learned while on the trip was how long Lafarge has been in Alpena.

“We’ve been here for 100 years. That’s 640 acres, two benches, we have an upper bench and we have a lower bench. We own more acres past this,” Mining Engineer, Bob Baughman said.

Lafarge mines 4-million tons of limestone into cement a year. Coral fossils are often found in the Quarry, which means there was salt water in Alpena at one time.

The limestone at the plant is over 400-million years old. Lafarge is over 100 years old and is the largest cement plant in Northeast Michigan.