MENDOTA – North America’s largest flour mill – built from the ground up in one project – now resides in Mendota.
The new Archer Daniels Midland Flour Mill, on North 43rd Road just east of Mendota, can produce 3 million pounds of flour a day and will employ about 30 to 40 people.
“We’re proud to be here, to work here, to live here and to give back here,” said Kevin Like, president of North American Flour Milling at ADM.
Wednesday, ADM held a ribbon-cutting ceremony with about 250 people in attendance to celebrate the mill’s opening.
Construction on the facility began June 2017, and it can mill spring, winter and soft wheat varieties, plus two types of whole wheat. Production started about Aug. 1.
“It means a lot to Mendota,” said Emily McConville, Mendota’s city clerk and economic development director. “We’ve had some bad news in the last couple of months.”
The ribbon-cutting comes on the heels of the news that a Del Monte facility in Mendota that packages peas, carrots and other vegetables would close. The August announcement that 111 full-time and 362 seasonal employees would be eliminated blindsided city officials.
McConville said working with ADM has been a wonderful experience, and she knows they treat their employees well.
“And as far as the community goes, I know that the more ADM invests in Mendota, the more they will invest in the future in Mendota,” she said.
Why did ADM choose Mendota for the mill?
ADM, one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers, already had an existing ADM grain transfer facility in Mendota with a rail loop initially built by Fasco Mills before ADM bought the local company in 2007.
ADM had an aging facility in the Chicago area, and the company needed a new location to better serve its customers, Like said.
“This is a big flour-consuming area, so it was natural to choose to hold onto our existing grain terminal, utilizing some of the same assets, utilizing supplier relationships, utilizing the 110-car rail unloading capability of this facility as well as the storage,” Like said.
Also labor was part of the decision: “We’ve been working with this group of people for over 10 years now. We know the work ethic in this area.”
Mendota High School District 280’s superintendent said the timing of the new facility’s opening couldn’t be any better than it is right now, after news of the Del Monte plant closure.
“We’re excited about what the city has done to bring the flour plant to Mendota,” Superintendent Jeff Prusator said. “We think it will be a great enhancement to the city.”
District 280 hopes the new facility will have a positive effect on student enrollment, he said.
“It is great for us,” said Kate Fox, president and CEO of the Mendota Area Chamber of Commerce, about the new mill. “We’ll keep growing as a community.”
During his speech to those in attendance, Like said support of the Mendota Sweet Corn Festival would continue.
Fox said ADM has been a major sponsor of the Sweet Corn Festival for the past two years, and that the Chamber looks forward to continuing the relationship.
Source: The Daily Chronicle