HOPKINSVILLE, KY. — Jim Hargett has joined Hopkinsville Milling Co. as plant manager. He will be overseeing the operation of the mill and will report to Robert Harper, president.

Mr. Hargett said some of his goals for the mill are to push it toward a more automated facility with less hands-on involvement by the operators, and to institute a preventive maintenance program.  

Mr. Harper said Mr. Hargett was attractive to the company because he ran an operation that had very little down time, which is increasingly important as the mill becomes a 24-hour operation.  Mr. Harper also said Mr. Hargett’s extensive knowledge of the industry will provide a perspective that Hopkinsville Milling needs, along with his experience working for different milling companies with strong training programs. 

“We are expecting that he will make us an efficient 24-hour, five- to seven- day-a-week operator,” Mr. Harper said.

Prior to joining Hopkinsville Milling, Mr. Hargett was the plant manager for Star of the West Milling Co. in Quincy, Mich., a soft wheat miller. Earlier he worked for Food Protection Services, a service group for food plants, providing pest control and fumigation services, and he worked as a shift supervisor for U.S. Durum Mills in St. Louis, Mo., an Italian-owned durum mill that makes semolina for pasta. 

Mr. Hargett started his milling career in 1977 at Mennel Milling in Fostoria, Ohio, packing bags on second shift while he completed classes at the local community college during the day. He left as head miller in 2010 after 33 years.  Mr. Hargett said once he started working in the milling industry, he never left.

Mr. Hargett is a member of the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM), a group that collaborates, shares ideas, and offers educational opportunities. It was through his connections at IAOM that he found out about the job in Hopkinsville.

Mr. Hargett said he will be closing on a house in Hopkinsville within the next couple of weeks and his wife, Georgia, a naturopathic doctor, will be joining him once she closes her practice in Michigan.  He said he is looking forward to seeing the local caves and fishing, and has heard there are some great golf courses in the area. 

“I look forward to doing what I love doing until I retire,” Mr. Hargett said. “I love the area; it is a lot like Michigan.  It is a little bit warmer.”