GRAND FORKS, NORTH DAKOTA, USA — More than 400 invited guests gathered on Thursday 20 October at the North Dakota Mill and Elevator (NDM) to commemorate the facility’s 100th anniversary. Built way back in 1922, it is the largest single-site mill in the western hemisphere and the only publicly owned mill in the United States. The mill is overseen by the North Dakota Industrial Commission, consisting of the governor, the agriculture commissioner and the attorney general. For this occasion, the North Dakota Industrial Commission joined the employees, states officials and legislators, customers and suppliers – including some of the Ocrim team – to celebrate the milestone. The participants were welcomed at the site by refreshments and, each of them, was offered a complimentary 10-pound bag of flour produced at the mill and a brochure that relives the 100 years of history. The mill’s centennial celebration continued with a dinner at the Sky’s Cloud Nine Event Center in downtown Grand Forks, where members of the committee took the floor, including the U.S. Sen. John Hoeven: “throughout its history, the NDM has helped provide a dependable market for our farmers, and we appreciate the hard work of the Mill’s employees in supporting our state as a global agricultural leader.”.
The opening speech was given to Vance Taylor, president and CEO of NDM, who headed the mill since 2000 and is the 14th leader of the facility, one of the longest serving leaders in the mill’s history: “looking back on the Mill’s history, the first 20 years were rather tumultuous, but for a long, long time, we’ve been quite steady in providing consistent profits for the state, consistent demand for the farmers, consistent high-quality flour and customer service for our customers. You have to have all three to continue to be successful. (…) The mill was built fort North Dakota farmers to increase demand in the local area, and it did that in 1922, and in 2022 it still does that job”. North Dakota is, in fact, the mill’s primary supplier of grain, but depending on the year it is also bought from Minnesota, South Dakota and on rare occasions from Montana. “All the grain milled here is domestic, none comes from Canada“, Taylor said. The North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum also spoke: “We’re grateful to all Mill and Elevator team members, past and present, for their dedication to innovation and continuous improvement and their commitment to fulfilling the Mill and Elevator’s mission to promote and provide support to North Dakota agriculture, commerce and industry”.
The centenary celebration also included a guided tour of the facility, in particular the recent durum-wheat H-Mill and the hard -wheat I-Mill, with a capacity of 360 T/D and 250 T/D respectively and the refurbishment of the existing unit for the processing of hard wheat made by Ocrim, whose collaboration with NDM dates back to 1980. Presenting the new units, Taylor reiterated what was already stated in a previous article: ”we demanded very short delivery times, and Ocrim accepted this challenge because it is aware of the organization, management and strategic skills already tested in the construction of the other lines”.
For the occasion, some of the key figures who over the years have contributed to the establishment and maintenance of the long-lasting relationship with the American company attended on behalf of our company including Fabrizio Baccinelli – Ocrim sales director – who declared: “It is a real honor to have been part of NDM’s history for more than 40 years and to be with them in this path of innovation and growth that translates into mutual success “. “It is always and only, today as yesterday, a question of mutual trust and esteem”, added Marco Galli, Ocrim technological department director. Marco Bellini and Giuseppe Pignacca, respectively Ocrim area sales manager of the American market and miller, also joined the event.