Faced with volatile commodity markets and changing regulations and consumer needs, animal producers are operating in an increasingly complex world. To help customers respond more quickly in this dynamic environment, Cargill is expanding and renovating its Global Animal Nutrition Innovation Center in Elk River, located just 30 minutes from its global headquarters. Along with a facility in Velddriel, The Netherlands and the soon to be operating Changrong R&D center in China, the Elk River site serves as a hub of the company's global network of 15 animal nutrition research and technology application centers. These sites work around the clock to explore, innovate, and think ahead of customers' challenges in navigating today's complex and ever-changing environment.
The nearly $50 million investment will upgrade animal facilities including a new dairy innovation unit, construct a larger onsite feed mill, create a visitor’s space, and build a state-of-the-art laboratory for nutrient research and development. Designed to serve dairy, poultry, swine and aqua nutrition customers and the testing needs of other Cargill businesses, the Global Innovation Center hosts more than 2,000 visitors a year. In addition, new viewing corridors will allow visitors to view the animal R&D facilities conveniently.
April 19, marked the official groundbreaking for the upgraded facility that will open in spring 2023. The site has been operational for Cargill since 1958. There, teams develop new methods of nutrient measurement to deeply understand how ingredients feed animals and support their performance at all life stages. Animals are also cared for onsite to identify and validate scientific principles related to their health and understand how various nutrients support their wellbeing.
The laboratory renovation project’s architect is Alliiance and the constructors are McGough and Weitz (feed mill).
Adriano Marcon, Group Leader of Cargill’s animal nutrition business, said, “This is the largest investment Cargill’s animal nutrition business has made in innovation. We are taking a significant step towards what is going to create state-of-the-art technologies for our world. We want to be the best animal nutrition partner globally, and our customers expect us to bring innovations that make them more competitive, efficient, and sustainable. When they choose us as a trusted partner, they rely on us as a conduit to new technology. Therefore, we must be in the forefront and move faster to continue delivering on our promise to customers.”
Mariano Berdegue, regional managing director for North America of Cargill’s animal nutrition business, said, “This investment showcases the importance of bringing sustainable growth to our business and is at the heart of the vision of being a nutrition company. This capability has never been more critical than now with what we are facing today regarding raw material prices, the cost of food, our ability to optimize nutrition, and our ability to understand raw materials and convert them into protein. We feel proud about the options we are giving our customers so they can continue their livelihoods and thrive.”
Arlene Fosmer, Innovation Director of Cargill’s animal nutrition business, said, “Science drives our customer success. At this facility, we’re unlocking the nutritional insights and analytics to innovate what matters most for our customers.”