NCI Pilot Flour Mill Renovation Celebrated with Ribbon Cutting on November 24

December 15, 2009

NCI Pilot Flour Mill Renovation Celebrated with Ribbon Cutting on November 24

For Immediate Release

Fargo, N.D., USA – Northern Crops Institute celebrated its new pilot Flour Mill with a ribbon cutting ceremony on November 24.

NCI Director Brian Sorenson kicked off the event that included comments from special guests including North Dakota Governor John Hoeven, North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring, D.C. Coston, Ph.D., NDSU Vice President of Agriculture and University Outreach, representatives of regional wheat commissions, and René Steiner, President, Buhler North America.

Guests toured the mill after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.  A dinner followed the event. 

“In 2007, the Northern Crops Council (NCC) formed a committee to look at the future of NCI’s technical capabilities in milling, and they identified a definite need for a mill of this capacity,” said Sorenson.

“The committee decided to review the existing equipment, and they determined that we had a great asset in our pilot durum mill.  Using the existing durum mill equipment as a starting point for the new mill sped up the project as well as kept the overall costs down,” he continued. 

“The Northern Crops Council voted to move forward with the project at their November 2008 meeting.  To go from a project design to a completed installation in a year was a testament to the NCI staff, the NCC, as well as to Buhler, who helped us put this project together,” Sorenson concluded.

Gifts from the South Dakota Wheat Commission, North Dakota Wheat Commission, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee, Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council, General Mills, Horizon Milling, and several individuals partially funded the renovation.  Buhler Inc. donated an optical Color Sorter, which can detect and remove defective product and foreign material in wheat.

“NCI’s new flour mill represents another great opportunity to promote northern-grown crops and create new and expanded domestic and international markets for producers in the region,” said Governor Hoeven.

“This project is the result of a strong partnership between North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana and a steadfast commitment to growing the agriculture and value-added processing industries in our states, as well as enhancing our competitiveness in marketing commodities worldwide,” Governor Hoeven concluded.

NCI’s pilot durum mill was converted into a dual-purpose or “swing mill” to give the region the capability to mill pilot-scale or test-scale quantities of bread wheats (Hard Red Spring, Hard Red Winter and Hard White) into flour for quality and test baking/processing evaluations. Importantly, the mill retains the capability to mill durum wheat into high quality semolina.

The new mill is capable of milling flour, durum semolina and whole-wheat flour.  Flour milling capacity of the new mill is 200-300 pounds/hour, a larger quantity than a laboratory scale mill can produce.  Flour quality closely matches flour from a commercial flourmill.

In addition to milling and testing flour, the new pilot mill will be used for educating millers about hard wheats.  NCI’s pilot-scale durum mill, built in 1991, was one of the few facilities in the nation dedicated specifically to educating and training durum millers.

The existing building and much of the pilot-scale durum mill equipment was used in building the new mill. Additional equipment to improve grain handling, cleaning, tempering, and purifying was purchased or donated. 

The next phase of the renovation will begin when funding is secured. The second phase will include a flour mixer, storage bin, and flour packing equipment that will fill 50# bags.

NCI is conducting a nation-wide search for a full-time milling specialist.

Northern Crops Institute (NCI) supports regional agriculture and value-added processing by conducting educational and technical programs that expand and maintain domestic and international markets for northern-grown crops.  NCI is funded by the states of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota and commodity groups in those states and Montana.           
 

Higher resolution photos can be obtained from Sally Backman at sally.sologuk@ndsu.edu

Cutting the Ribbon! Left to right: Mehmet Tulbek, NCI Technical Director; Brian Sorenson, NCI Director; Rene Steiner, Buhler Inc.; North Dakota Governor John Hoeven; North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture Doug Goehring; David Clough, North Dakota Wheat Commission; Arlo Skari, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee; Laird Larson, South Dakota Wheat Commission; Mark Jossund, Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council; and John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director.

Cutting the Ribbon! Left to right: Mehmet Tulbek, NCI Technical Director; Brian Sorenson, NCI Director; Rene Steiner, Buhler Inc.; North Dakota Governor John Hoeven; North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture Doug Goehring; David Clough, North Dakota Wheat Commission; Arlo Skari, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee; Laird Larson, South Dakota Wheat Commission; Mark Jossund, Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council; and John Crabtree, NCI Assistant Director.

The Northern Crops Council and Northern Crops Institute Staff pose for a photo before the festivities begin.

The Northern Crops Council and Northern Crops Institute Staff pose for a photo before the festivities begin.

NCI Director Brian Sorenson welcomes the guests.

NCI Director Brian Sorenson welcomes the guests.

North Dakota Governor John Hoeven congratulates NCI on its achievements.

North Dakota Governor John Hoeven congratulates NCI on its achievements.

Sorenson introduces the regional commodity representatives and others who generously donated to the mill project.

Sorenson introduces the regional commodity representatives and others who generously donated to the mill project.

Laird Larson, South Dakota Wheat Commission

Laird Larson, South Dakota Wheat Commission

Mark Jossund, Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council

Mark Jossund, Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council

Rudy Weiss, Buhler Inc. (left), Steve Meyerhofer (middle), and Andrew Meyerhofer (right) of the Meyerhofer Steel and Construction Company look at the Color Sorter that was donated by Buhler Inc.

Rudy Weiss, Buhler Inc. (left), Steve Meyerhofer (middle), and Andrew Meyerhofer (right) of the Meyerhofer Steel and Construction Company look at the Color Sorter that was donated by Buhler Inc.

Neal Fisher, (left), Administrator of North Dakota Wheat Commission, and former Governor George Sinner (right) enjoyed a moment to visit. Governor Sinner was the first chair of the Northern Crops Council and was instrumental in building Northern Crops Institute.

Neal Fisher, (left), Administrator of North Dakota Wheat Commission, and former Governor George Sinner (right) enjoyed a moment to visit. Governor Sinner was the first chair of the Northern Crops Council and was instrumental in building Northern Crops Institute.

Terry Goerger, (left), a former Northern Crops Council chair, visits with former Governor George Sinner.

Terry Goerger, (left), a former Northern Crops Council chair, visits with former Governor George Sinner.

Left to right: Mrs. Lorraine Langseth; David Torgerson, Executive Director of Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council; Bill Zurn, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council; Karolyn Zurn, Northern Crops Council; former Governor George Sinner; Senator Keith Langseth, Minnesota District 9; and Mark Jossund, Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council.

Left to right: Mrs. Lorraine Langseth; David Torgerson, Executive Director of Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council; Bill Zurn, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council; Karolyn Zurn, Northern Crops Council; former Governor George Sinner; Senator Keith Langseth, Minnesota District 9; and Mark Jossund, Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council.

NCI Director presents a plaque to Jay Romsa, in recognition of the Silver Level sponsorship that General Mills gave to the mill project.

NCI Director presents a plaque to Jay Romsa, in recognition of the Silver Level sponsorship that General Mills gave to the mill project.

Randy Englund and Laird Larson, both represent the South Dakota Wheat Commission.

Randy Englund and Laird Larson, both represent the South Dakota Wheat Commission.

D.C. Coston, Ph.D., NDSU Vice President for Agriculture and Outreach, North Dakota Governor John Hoeven and NCI Director Brian Sorenson.

D.C. Coston, Ph.D., NDSU Vice President for Agriculture and Outreach, North Dakota Governor John Hoeven and NCI Director Brian Sorenson.

Vice President D.C. Coston welcomes everyone and introduces North Dakota Governor John Hoeven.

Vice President D.C. Coston welcomes everyone and introduces North Dakota Governor John Hoeven.

The Ribbon Cutting Commences.

The Ribbon Cutting Commences.

David Clough, North Dakota Wheat Commission

David Clough, North Dakota Wheat Commission

Arlo Skari, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee

Arlo Skari, Montana Wheat and Barley Committee

Rene Steiner, President and CEO, Buhler North America

Rene Steiner, President and CEO, Buhler North America

Brian Sorenson (right) visits with (l to r): Randy Englund, Executive Director of South Dakota Wheat Commission; Laird Larson, past chair of Northern Crops Council; David Clough, newly elected chair of Northern Crops Council; Neal Foster, Executive Director of South Dakota Crop Improvement Association; and Mary Ellen Wagner, SD Wheat Commission.

Brian Sorenson (right) visits with (l to r): Randy Englund, Executive Director of South Dakota Wheat Commission; Laird Larson, past chair of Northern Crops Council; David Clough, newly elected chair of Northern Crops Council; Neal Foster, Executive Director of South Dakota Crop Improvement Association; and Mary Ellen Wagner, SD Wheat Commission.

Rene Steiner, (left), Buhler Inc, and Pat Berglund, Ph.D. (center), former NCI Director, discuss the new color sorter with NCI Technical Director Mehmet Tulbek, Ph.D. (right).

Rene Steiner, (left), Buhler Inc, and Pat Berglund, Ph.D. (center), former NCI Director, discuss the new color sorter with NCI Technical Director Mehmet Tulbek, Ph.D. (right).

Brian Harris, (right), of Standard Industries had a main role in getting the mill up and running.

Brian Harris, (right), of Standard Industries had a main role in getting the mill up and running.

NCI Director Brian Sorenson presents a plaque to Kenji Motomatsu, Nisshin Flour Milling Company, Japan, in appreciation of the work Kenji did in the swing mill before its opening.

NCI Director Brian Sorenson presents a plaque to Kenji Motomatsu, Nisshin Flour Milling Company, Japan, in appreciation of the work Kenji did in the swing mill before its opening.

NCI Director presents a plaque to Brian Walker, in recognition of the Bronze Level sponsorship that Horizon Milling gave to the mill project.

NCI Director presents a plaque to Brian Walker, in recognition of the Bronze Level sponsorship that Horizon Milling gave to the mill project.

Brian Kaae, former NCC Chair and 8-year member, with Arlo Skari, who is presently on the NCC representing the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.

Brian Kaae, former NCC Chair and 8-year member, with Arlo Skari, who is presently on the NCC representing the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee.