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Cargill Kicks Off 150th Anniversary Year

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In 1865, William Wallace Cargill became the owner of a single grain warehouse in Conover, Iowa, at the end of the McGregor Western Railroad. Today, the company he founded is one of the largest privately-held enterprises in the world and, this year, it celebrates its 150th anniversary.

“We are proud of our legacy and the many people who have created it,” said David MacLennan, Cargill’s president and CEO. “Throughout our anniversary year, we will be reflecting on our past and present, and we’ll use those reflections as a springboard to help us focus our thinking on how we can help our partners and customers thrive in an increasingly complex world.”

In 2015, for example, Cargill will bring together emerging international thought leaders with Cargill Learning Journeys in Africa and China and will prominently participate in events where improving food security and sustainable food production are core topics.

Cargill also is marking its 150th anniversary with an online collection of stories, highlighting its long legacy of innovation and its commitment to helping nourish people around the world. The stories are an account of the people, decisions and innovations that shaped Cargill as it evolved from its modest beginnings in the American Midwest to a major international marketer, transporter and processor of agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.

Milestones highlighted on the site include:

• 1865: Cargill’s first grain warehouse in Conover, Iowa, helps farmers move their grain to market.

• 1967: Cargill fills an entire train—115 cars—with Illinois corn. This more efficient process results in better prices for consumers and higher profits for farmers.

• 1991: Cargill introduces more humane cattle practices, including a blueprint that promotes more peaceful and insightful handling methods.

• 1998: Because the Gulf of Kutch’s waters are shallow, Cargill designs the first floating offshore port in India, allowing for food and other goods to be unloaded and then transferred by ferry.

• 2013: Cargill’s Hindoli palm plantation achieves official Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil certification and is cited as a model for sustainable palm oil production.

Cargill businesses and locations around the world also will recognize the 150th anniversary with celebrations for employees and their families.

Cargill sells Texas cattle feed yard to California-based family operator

In other company news, Cargill Cattle Feeders LLC on Jan. 8 completed the sale of its Lockney, Texas, feed yard to Lofton Trust, a family-owned cattle operation based in California. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The feed yard, located in the Texas Panhandle near Plainview, opened in 1970 and was purchased by Cargill in 1986. It currently has capacity for 60,000 cattle and employs approximately 20 people.

In 2013, Cargill announced the future closure of Lockney, related to the shutdown of the company’s Plainview, Texas, beef processing facility on Feb. 1 of that year. The processing plant closed primarily due to drought that had severely limited the region’s cattle supplies where four major beef processing facilities were operating. With a large feed yard at Bovina, Texas, in close proximity to Cargill’s Friona, Texas, beef processing plant, and a constrained cattle supply throughout the Panhandle region, Lockney was deemed surplus.

Lofton Trust was in the midst of an expansion of its operations when a large Southern California beef processing plant closed, resulting in the need for a new feed yard location. After research, it was decided the Cargill facility in Lockney would be a good fit. The Lockney feed yard will operate under Western Cattle Feeders LLC.

“This is a win for Lockney, its employees, the Texas beef business, Cargill and Lofton Trust,” said Todd Allen, president of Wichita, Kansas-based Cargill Cattle Feeders. “We were dismayed about the prospect of Lockney closing in the wake of the Plainview beef plant shutting down, so being able to keep the feed yard viable is a wonderful feeling. We are confident the Lofton Trust will work hard to maintain its ongoing success.”

Cargill continues to operate four major feed yards in Texas, Kansas and Colorado with capacity of approximately 300,000 cattle.

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