Old milling companies partner in new Indiana venture
by Josh Sosland
HARRISON, IND. — Whitewater Mill L.L.C. is building a new flour mill in Harrison, just west of Cincinnati. A new business, Whitewater is a joint venture of Siemer Milling Co., Teutopolis, Ill., and H. Nagel and Son Co. of Cincinnati.
The new soft wheat mill will have daily capacity of 10,000 cwts. Buhler, Inc., Plymouth, Minn., has been engaged as the principal equipment supplier, and Todd and Sargent, Inc., Ames, Iowa, as the contractor for the building and equipment installation.
With a completion target of spring 2015, Whitewater is expected to have a workforce of 35 once it is operational.
The partnership is between two of the oldest names in flour milling. The Nagel business was established in 1857. Siemer Milling began business in 1882.
According to the companies, financing for the project has been secured from CoBank of Denver. Additionally, government support was forthcoming from Dearborn County, Ind.; the Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Regional Economic Grant Fund and the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
While the decision to build the mill was motivated by what the partners view as attractive market conditions, heightened efficiency, food safety and security are central areas of focus in the design of the new mill, said Richard C. Siemer, president of Siemer Milling.
“Nagel and Siemer see a great opportunity for flour milling in the Cincinnati area,” he said. “Existing and potential wheat supply and flour demand factors point to long-term success for this venture.
“Even more important, this will be a facility that addresses the most critical challenges of food manufacturing in a steadily more demanding environment. We and our customers, not to mention consumers and government, are establishing higher standards along the entire continuum of production — sustainability, efficiency, cleanliness of process and product. Flour mills are built to last a long time, to the point where some have outlived their utility. This plant is designed for the future, not the past. This plant represents what our industry must do to participate in the changing food supply chain.”
Ted Nagel, president of H. Nagel (which also does business as Brighton Mills) described Whitewater as a way for older milling companies to turn a corner in a changing industry.
“We all have experienced an increase in complexity of every aspect of our industry,” he said. “Whitewater mill will be a renewal for Nagel and Siemer. For us in Cincinnati we expect efficiencies in milling and transportation over our current facilities. We look forward to the challenges of the future with the partnership between Nagel and Siemer at Whitewater Mill.”
Mr. Siemer had praised the area governments for inducements aimed at landing the project.
“We are very happy with the positive reception our project has gotten from local governments in the Dearborn county area,” Mr. Siemer said. “Incentives can rarely be the decisive factor in business location, and in this case, transportation probably ranks as number one. But the total package offered to us by the governments is extremely helpful in a capital intensive project like this. And their encouraging attitude and assistance in dealing with regulatory issues is invaluable.”
Nagel operates two small flour mills in Ohio, one in Cincinnati with 2,700 cwts of daily capacity, and a second 70 miles north in Brookville, with 1,800 cwts of capacity.
Siemer operates mills in Teutopolis (10,500 cwts) and Hopkinsville, Ky. (16,000 cwts).