Farm Progress

Company announces new line of range blocks coming out of Nebraska plant.

Curt Arens, Editor, Nebraska Farmer

July 2, 2018

3 Min Read
GRAND OPENING: Gov. Pete Ricketts (blue collar), shakes hands with ADM and area dignitaries, outside the new ADM Animal Nutrition feed manufacturing plant in Columbus.

Archer Daniels Midland unveiled its high-tech Animal Nutrition plant in Columbus, Neb., with Gov. Pete Ricketts and a host of company and local dignitaries, at a ribbon-cutting ceremony in mid-June. The state-of-the-art facility will provide greater quality control and worker efficiency, along with a new line of production for range blocks.

The new feed plant, built next to an existing plant from 1968, will manufacture more than 100 animal and livestock nutrition feed products for ADM Animal Nutrition, that will be delivered through dealers up to 500 miles away. Working two shifts at least five days a week, the ADM plant will also be adding a new line of production for range blocks for cattle, dairy cows and horses.

The plant will incorporate a host of technologically enhanced systems including a 5-ton, high-speed mixer, 44-bin micro-ingredient system with four process scales for precise weighing of vitamins and micronutrients, and eight liquid storage vessels, with exact flow-metering equipment. It also will have 28 bulk-finished product bins and a 900-bag-per-hour fully automated packaging and palletizing system.

These advances are in the name of customer service, Nathan Mead, ADM regional business manager, told a crowd of producers and local dignitaries at the ribbon cutting. "We're excited about everything this plant has to offer," Mead said. "Expanded warehouse facilities, increased automation within receiving, batching, packaging and loadout, and multiple batching systems with simultaneous weighment, provide for high efficiency and high output.”

For Ricketts, the new plant is a big win for the local and state economy. "Our goal is to create more and better jobs to keep our kids and grandkids here, and attract people from around the world to make Nebraska their home," Ricketts said. "We are seeing this happen all across Nebraska, with companies investing."

The governor noted, "Agriculture is the heart and soul of what we do here in Nebraska. If we are going to grow Nebraska, then we have to grow agriculture and ag-related businesses. That's exactly what this represents."

During a plant tour, Darin Sigler, ADM Columbus plant manager, said ingredients used in the production of animal nutrition products at the plant come from Nebraska-grown grain, including coproducts.

"That is adding value to Nebraska agriculture products," Ricketts said during the tour.

For Sigler, the new plant offers numerous advantages that will benefit customers and plant workers. Everything is moved above ground, with no basement, so the systems can use gravity whenever possible to move products and to improve quality control. "Gravity does very little damage to the products," Sigler said.

The addition of range block production to the Columbus plant came about because of the close market to Nebraska cow-calf and feedlot producers, Sigler said. "Livestock eat every day," he said. "So, we strive to work hard and produce high-quality feed for our customers."

The addition of an advanced micronutrient bin system is one of Sigler's favorite aspects to the new plant, because it automates a tedious process and improves the quality control measures of adding small-volume vitamins and nutrients in the process.

You can learn more about the new ADM Animal Nutrition plant at

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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