What is community, and what is its role in milling? While ingredients and grain-based solutions are at the core of everyday live across our teams in North America, we spoke with Tom Kleist, Maintenance/Reliability manager, and the team at our Mankato location, to see how the secret to Nourishing What’s Next is found through the community partnerships built in and outside of the mill.
COMMUNITY MILLS ARE A HUGE PART OF OUR WORK. HOW IS THAT VALUED BY THE MANKATO TEAM?
When searching for ways to describe the team at our flour mill in Mankato, MN words like flexible, adaptable, and engaged are some that quickly come to mind. The mill, using grind stones, began milling wheat into flour in 1878. In 1879 the stones were replaced with superior performing steel roller mills, resulting in a better milling process, higher quality flour and increased production to feed a growing community. That huge change in the first year set a standard for the team of ultimate customer and community service for the next 140+ years. Even in the early days of the mill, community was important- in early 1880, the first telephone in the county was installed in the mill with a connection to the growing City Hall. In 1908, the community struggling with a rampant Typhoid epidemic, the mill opened up its private water wells to share with the City, keeping residents supplied with clean water. A few years ago, in the Holiday edition of a local magazine in which community members shared their favorite Holiday memories, several contributors expressed their appreciation for the landmark lighting of the “Tree” on top of the mill. We still light them today, and if the lights are not shining Thanksgiving night, I can expect a few reminder calls from concerned neighbors. There is a lot of pride and satisfaction in working at such an historic, old, storied facility in the heart of downtown Mankato.
HOW HAS SERVING BEEN A PART OF THE MILLING EXPERIENCE?
To read the rest of the story, please go to: Ardent Mills