The North Dakota Mill and Elevator Association began operating October 22, 1922 as a value-added market for wheat produced in North Dakota. In the early 1900’s, the flour mills and grain exchange in Minneapolis were the primary wheat markets for North Dakota farmers and elevators. After freight costs to Minneapolis were deducted from Minneapolis market prices, North Dakota farmers received a low price for their wheat. The North Dakota Mill came into existence to help solve this problem.
The North Dakota Mill facilities include ten milling units, a terminal elevator and a packing warehouse to prepare bagged products for shipment. All Mill facilities are located in Grand Forks and have been paid for from operating profits.
With ten milling units, the Mill produces and ships 60,500 cwt. of milled products daily. In addition, the Mill ships over 17,000 cwt. of food grade bran and wheat midds daily. The Mill cleans, processes and mills over 130,000 bushels of top quality North Dakota wheat daily. On an annual basis, the Mill adds value to 40 million bushels of spring and durum wheat.
The terminal elevator has a storage capacity for 5.3 million bushels of wheat. The terminal elevator blends, cleans and transfers wheat to the seven milling units and provides wheat storage to farmers, country elevators and government agencies.
80% of the Mill’s flour and semolina is shipped on bulk rail cars and trucks, 20% of finished products are packaged in 5, 10, 25 and 50 pound bags for shipment via boxcars and trucks. Product is also packed in totes/super sacks for shipment. The Mill also sells a line of bread machine and pancake mixes for the retail trade.
The Mill also has an organic certification for processing organic wheat products.
The North Dakota Mill receives no funds or financial assistance from the State of North Dakota to subsidize the milling operations. Selling value- added milled wheat products to bakery and pasta customers, as well as retail and food service suppliers, generates all operating funds. Over 90% of sales revenues are derived from customers outside the State to create value-added income for the State of North Dakota. The North Dakota Mill supports the local economy with a payroll of $16 million annually.
The North Dakota Mill and Elevator Association has contributed in excess of 50% of its profits to the North Dakota State General Fund for more than 50 years and continues to be a valuable asset to the State of North Dakota.
The North Dakota Mill and Elevator Association is the only state-owned milling facility in the United States. The North Dakota Mill and Elevator Association has, over the years, worked cooperatively with state agencies in promoting North Dakota and its high quality products by participating with and hosting international trade teams and serving as a resource center for training, research and testing.
The North Dakota Mill and Elevator is currently pursuing new marketing strategies to achieve desired profit levels. The new marketing strategies include increasing branded product sales; targeting bakery customers that prefer superior quality flours with excellent uniformity and purity and aggressive marketing of new products at the retail and food service levels.