According to the ingredient supplier, the new space will broaden its organic and heirloom portfolio, available through its organic-focus offshoot, The Annex.
The Denver, Colorado-based miller purchased the site from the original owner for an undisclosed amount. Winema Elevators, which operates eight grain elevators in Oregon and California, had previously been leasing it.
Ardent Mills’ new facility is located in Klamath Falls, within a six-hour drive of the company’s Stockton mill in northern California and its mix plant in Arlington, Oregon. It is also less than 300 miles from Innovative Bakery Resources, a division of Ardent Mill dedicated to the art and science of artisanal bread making at scale.
“The location of the Klamath Falls elevator and our long-standing relationships with farmers in the surrounding area support our core business and open up specialty opportunities in the world of grain,” said Shrene White, general manager of The Annex.
“This is an exciting addition to our network of facilities and further drives our extensive grower network, public-private partnerships and commitment to innovation.”
In the vicinity
Oregon State University is about 200 miles from both Klamath Falls and Arlington.
Ardent Mills is a regular sponsor of Oregon State University events such as the World Grain Summit.
Patrick Hayes, a professor in the school's College of Agricultural Sciences, said the miller’s expansion would have a positive impact on the region and the country.
“I’m excited at the prospect of new opportunities for breeding grains like organic barley and new initiatives for stimulating local economic development,” he said.
Being in close proximity to many of its growers has its advantages, too.
“This acquisition enhances Ardent Mills’ ability to source grains from organic and conventional family farms in the region,” said Ardent Mills’ CEO Dan Dye.
“It gives us the opportunity to become the trusted partner for these growers, which is a key component of Ardent Mills’ vision.”