DENVER — Ardent Mills is expanding its organic capabilities with the acquisition of a grain elevator in Klamath Falls, Ore. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Ardent said the elevator is located near its flour mill in Stockton, Calif., and mix plant in Arlington, Ore., which will enhance the company’s ability to support growers in the Pacific Northwest, partner with universities on breeding and serve its overall customer base. It has capacity of approximately 2 million bus and is situated on the Union Pacific railway.
The elevator handles wheat, barley and oats, Ardent said.
“This acquisition enhances Ardent Mills’ ability to source grains from organic and conventional family farms in the region,” said Daniel P. Dye, chief executive officer of Ardent Mills. “It gives us the opportunity to become the trusted partner for these growers, which is a key component of Ardent Mills’ vision.”
Shrene White, general manager of The Annex, said the location of the Klamath Falls elevator, coupled with Ardent Mills’ longstanding relationship with farmers in the surrounding area, support the company’s core business and open up additional opportunities in the specialty grains sector.
“This is an exciting addition to our network of facilities and further drives our extensive grower network, public-private partnerships and commitment to innovation,” Ms. White said.
“I’m excited at the prospect of new opportunities for breeding grains like organic barley and new initiatives for stimulating local economic development,” added Patrick Hayes, Ph.D., a professor in the College of Agricultural Sciences at Oregon State University. “This has the ability to impact not only Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, but also the entire country.”
The acquisition comes less than two months after Ardent introduced new capabilities at its Denver mill. In addition to flour milling, the company will clean and pack intact grains, pearl barley and dehull heirloom grains like emmer, einkorn and spelt. More farmers are seeking to bring these grains to market, according to Ardent Mills, and the company is seeing increasing demand from its customers in segments such as artisan baking, brewing and distilling, food service and retail foods.
The mill, which is in the River North Art District (RiNo) of Denver, will produce and clean organic and non-bioengineered/non-G.M.O. grains and sell them nationwide in 25-lb and 50-lb bags and totes. With 5,000 cwts of daily milling capacity, the facility is the smaller of two flour mills Ardent Mills operates in the Denver area. The second, located in Commerce City, has 20,000 cwts of daily milling capacity and includes family flour packaging, bakery mix manufacturing and a specialty mill that produces baker’s brand and mills whole wheat flour.
The RiNo mill’s new processing capabilities will support The Annex by Ardent Mills, a business unit the company set up last year to cultivate the future of specialty grains and plant-based ingredients.