It’s one of those perfect sunny winter days in Florida that have drawn millions of Americans to move to the southernmost state. The 160-foot (around 50 meter) silos tower into the crystal-clear blue sky and the first rays of sunshine illuminate the milling complex, promising another beautiful day with temperatures in the low 70s Fahrenheit, around 20 degrees Celsius. While Dan Dye appreciates the warm weather, having flown in from the headquarters in Denver, Colorado, he’s here to make sure his colleagues running Ardent Mills’ latest mill have everything they need to operate the company’s newest facility as efficiently and safely as possible.
As the CEO of North America’s largest producer of conventional wheat flour enters the facility in Port Redwing, just south of Tampa Bay on the Gulf coast of Florida, the calm but busy atmosphere of the mill is apparent. He knows each one of the workers personally, chats about the ongoing American football season, and takes a genuine interest in everyone’s well-being. As he greets the staff and catches up on the latest news out of the Sunshine State, the standard-setting mill reliably runs like clockwork, almost unnoticed in the background, producing 800 tonnes of flour, 24 hours a day, six days a week. The fact that Dye can dedicate a great portion of his time to checking in on his team members is evidence of two key pillars for Ardent Mills’ success story: its focus on its employees in everything they do and its high level of trust in the reliability of the equipment in this one-of-a-kind facility.