History

Cargill has a long and successful history developing innovative business and animal nutrition solutions. Learn more about how Cargill grew from a grain flat house in Iowa in 1865 to a global provider of animal nutrition and feeds today.1865—W.W. Cargill becomes the proprietor of a grain flat house in Conover, IA.

  • 1875—W.W. Cargill moves the business to La Crosse, WI.  He is known to have sold feed here by 1884.
  • 1893—William H. Danforth forms a feed company in Missouri that becomes the foundation of Agribrands. Agribrands is acquired by Cargill almost 110 years later in 2001.
  • 1902—The Robinson-Danforth Commission Company changes its name to Ralston Purina Company to better communicate its “Purity is Paramount” message. It also creates the now famous “checkerboard” logo. Ralston Purina later spins off its international feed business as Agribrands in 1998.
  • 1921—Miller-McConnel Grain Company forms in Kansas City, Kansas and by 1922 it begins selling Nutrena feeds. Nutrena would ultimately be acquired by Cargill in 1945.
  • 1923—Cargill starts marketing Blue Square Feeds.
  • 1925—Nutrena introduces the first feed bag with a colored design to the feed industry.
  • 1926—William H. Danforth purchases a research farm near St. Louis, Missouri.  Nutrena is the first feed company to use radio advertising to promote its product.
  • 1927—Van Roy Miller buys out his partners in  the Miller-McConnel Grain Company to form Nutrena Feed Mills, Inc. in Kansas City, Kansas. Nutrena introduces its golden bag which quickly becomes the outstanding mark of distinction in merchandising Nutrena Feeds.
  • 1928—Ralston Purina Company introduces the first pelleted chicken feed and the first dry feed for early weaning of calves without hay.  Nutrena purchases an airplane and paints it the famous Nutrena gold with the company name emblazoned on the side. It is used to fly to feeder meetings and visit territories.
  • 1929—Ten pelleting machines are imported from Hull, England making Nutrena the first in the feed industry to produce All-Mash Egg pellets.
  • 1930—Ralston Purina Company sales reach $60 million.
  • 1936—Experimental facilities expand with the purchase of the Nutrena Proving Farms in Pleasant Hill, Missouri.
  • 1941—The Cargill Feed Division is formed.
  • 1942—Cargill introduces Blue Streak, a cereal-style dog food. It promotes the new product with radio advertisements.  The company manufactures and markets livestock and poultry feeds under the Blue Square, Du-All and Cargill brand names.
  • 1945—Cargill purchases controlling stock of Nutrena Feed Mills, Inc. doubling the size of its own feed business. Nutrena operates separately alongside Cargill’s Blue Square Feed.
  • 1951—Cargill Feed Division marks its 10th anniversary. The division operates six feed mills with a total capacity of 425,000 tons a year. The output is distributed to producers in 14 U.S. states through 4,500 dealers.
  • 1953—Cargill employs 4,542 people; of these 1,234 work in the Cargill Feed Division.
  • 1957—Cargill Feed Division purchases an 840-acre farm near Elk River, Minnesota. The farm is jointly operated under the direction of Cargill Feed Division’s Dr. A. Richard Baldwin and Nutrena’s Dr. J. Wesley Nelson.
  • 1958—Nutrena develops a feed computer/prescription calculator that replaces an extensive set of nutritional charts. This makes it easier for territory managers to give producers exact feed requirements in a matter of minutes.  Nutrena introduces the Calfoo system for raising calves based on the principles of isolation and disease prevention proved earlier with its Pigloo system.
  • 1950s-1960s—Ralston Purina Company begins expansion into Europe, the Americas and Asia.
  • 1961—Nutrena introduces a portable, hand-operated computer that precisely formulates over 187,000 separate livestock and poultry diets. The device is used by retail dealers to blend mill-produced concentrates and farm-grown grains into nutritionally specific feeds.
  • 1962—Nutrena employs 960 people. Construction begins in Capilla, Argentina on a Cargill-owned feed mill.
  • 1963—Nutrena launches the Isolit swine system. When placed eight feet apart, the units cut off transfer of airborne disease bacteria and eliminate direct pig-to-pig contact, reducing losses of piglets to near zero. Isolit cuts housing costs by half and increases labor efficiency by 47 percent.
  • 1964—Cargill enters the European animal feed business in a three-way joint venture agreement with Belgium’s Karel Hens Company and Tradax International.
  • 1965—Nutrena is now marketed as Cargill Nutrena.  Anderson, Clayton & Co. (ACCO) reorganizes to create the Paymaster Feeds Division. Cargill acquires ACCO in 1987.  Cargill Feeds enters Latin America in a partnership with El Salvador’s Alimentos de Animales, S.A. Known as Aliansa, it operates the largest automated feed mill in the nation supplying premixes, concentrates and complete feeds in bulk and bag. The partnership builds a feed mill in Guatemala.
  • 1965-66— Nutrena Feed Division creates an international feed department.
  • 1967— Cargill establishes a feed operation in Brazil on its own, not through acquisition. Cargill Liquid Feeds opens manufacturing plants in Omaha, NE and Havana, IL.  Anderson, Clayton & Co. feed division rebrands to ACCO™ feeds.
  • 1968— Cargill organizes a feed company in Korea.
  • 1971— Cargill Taiwan Corporation forms through a joint venture with Taiwan Sugar Corporation to produce and sell livestock and poultry feeds. The new company builds a feed mill in Kaohsiung.  Cargill develops slow-release (controlled-release) Cargill liquid supplement for a more efficient and safer use of urea in liquid-supplement feed.
  • 1972— Cargill introduces Vitality™ feed for horses.
  • 1973— Cargill develops Model Mill™ system for feed manufacturing.
  • 1974—Nutrena Feed Division expands into Canada by acquiring National Grain facilities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Cargill Indonesia begins selling livestock and poultry feed.
  • 1975— Nutrena Feed Division develops Sow-Matic™, the first complete pelleted feeds to effectively control intake, maintain proper animal condition and eliminate hand-feeding during gestation.
  • 1982—Dave Larson gives the first official presentation of the Cargill Animal Nutrition GreenBook. The GreenBook ultimately develops a core set of leadership, management and operating principles which represents the culture and unites the business globally.
  • 1982-83—Cargill begins selling feed in Thailand.
  • 1985— Six Nutrena Feed Division mills are recognized for outstanding safety records. Mills in  Grand Island, NE, Montgomery, AL and Russellville, AK earn Safety Gold Awards and plants in Sioux City, IA,  West Branch, IA and Grinnell, IA received special recognition for working more than 300,000 hours without a lost-time accident.
  • 1986— Nutrena Feed Division introduces its Blueprint™ sow feeding program which includes three new complete feeds, two new concentrates and three new specialty packs. Cargill Animal Nutrition develops Net Energy System.
  • 1987— Nutrena Feed Division acquires ACCO Feeds Inc., which includes Paymaster™, Superior ™, Showmaster™ and ACCO™ feed brands and HyLay Hatcheries that supplies commercial egg producers. At this time, the transaction is the single largest acquisition in company history adding about 375,000 tons of total annual volume.
  • 1987-88— Cargill begins selling feed in Japan.
  • 1988— Shibushi, Japan feed mill opens with the ability to produce 12,000 tons of feed per month and warehouse 700 metric tons.  Nutrena Feed Division adds Kennel™ brand dog food to its Pro Energy™ line.
    Nutrena Feed Division introduces a complete, pelleted feed for calves and yearlings called Doin’ Fine™ transition ration. In the United States, Nutrena Feed Division employs 1,700 people and operates 50 feed mills.
  • 1990— Cargill Animal Nutrition introduces Net Energy nutrient.
  • 1992— Cargill and the Polish government open a feed mill in Sierpc, Poland, marking the company’s first joint venture in Eastern Europe
  • 1995— Cargill Animal Nutrition develops OVS Database in North America.
  • 1996— Dave Cieslak, innovation and technology manager for Animal Nutrition earns the Technical Achievers Circle Award for developing and implementing AutoCalc™ system that calculates the levels of carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids and energy concentrations in animal feed. The feed division opens new plants in Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and Sri Lanka, and begins construction on facilities in Vietnam and China. Cargill introduces LiquaLife™, the world’s first liquid feed for shrimp larvae to address water pollution and disease prevention. The pre-stabilized nutrient beads replace dry feeds and complement artemia and phytoplankton.
  • 1997— Cargill Vietnam Ltd. opens its first feed mill in Bien Hoa City. It had previously operated in the country using a portable feed mill since 1996.
  • 1998— Cargill Philippines, Inc. breaks ground for feed mills in Baliug, Bulacan and in General Santos City, South Cotabato. Cargill Animal Nutrition expands OVS Database globally.
  • 2000— Nutrena® establishes itself as a stand-alone brand focusing on the ag-retail market segment.
    Cargill develops MAX™ system that designs unique nutrient solutions for customers.
  • 2001— Cargill acquires Agribrands which produces animal rations in 71 plants in 16 nations and markets under the Purina® brand. The combined companies have annual sales of 11 million tons.  Cargill Animal Nutrition conducts its first employee engagement survey.
  • 2002— Cargill Animal Nutrition enters Switzerland by acquiring Provimi Kliba, a Swiss family-owned grain origination, animal feed and flour milling company, from the Alcorex group.
  • 2004— Cargill Animal Nutrition operates 163 plants in 22 countries.
  • 2006— Cargill Animal Nutrition enters Russia by adding an animal nutrition facility at the Cargill, Incorporated complex in Efremov, Russia which also has sweetener plants, a vegetable refinery and bottling center.
    Cargill Animal Nutrition enters India through a joint venture with Matrix Bioscience, an Indian company that produces veterinary medicines and shrimp feed.  Cargill Animal Nutrition introduces Net Energy for pigs.
  • 2007— Cargill acquires LNB International Feed B.V., a privately held Dutch company with manufacturing sites in Poland, Romania and Suriname, and sales offices in Holland and Russia. It is the company’s second-largest animal nutrition acquisition following the Agribrands purchase.
  • 2008— The Loyall™ brand pet food for cats and dogs launches.
  • 2009— Cargill Animal Nutrition establishes Nourishing Animals; Enriching Lives. This global business strategy states that “nourishing animals is what we do every day, enriching lives is what we aspire to do.” Also introduces Net Energy for gestating and lactating sows.
  • 2010— Through Nourishing Animals; Enriching Lives 2015 Cargill Animal Nutrition focuses its global strategy in four key areas: Right Market, Right Model, Operational Excellence, Make Your Own Diet (MYOD) and Aquaculture.  Cargill acquires Feed Management Systems, Inc. (FMS).
  • 2011— Cargill acquires Provimi, a global animal nutrition company.

 

 

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