Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

November 8, 2013

Wheat facility expected to boost economy

The Batesville Herald-Tribune

---- — Officials at Whitewater Mill LLC announced plans Oct. 24 to establish a wheat processing facility in West Harrison as a joint venture between Siemer Milling Co. and Hy. Nagel & Son, creating up to 35 new jobs by 2016, according to an Indiana Economic Development Corp. news release.

The Teutopolis, Ill., and Cincinnati-based companies will invest $37.4 million to construct and equip a five-floor wheat flour mill on Old U.S. 52 in West Harrison. The facility, which is expected to be operational by spring 2015, will allow the company to produce 700 tons of wheat-based products daily.

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith observed, “Companies in the food industry continue to discover that when it comes to a healthy business climate, there is no better place in the world to invest and create new jobs than in Indiana. In the heartland of America, we are proud to be a state that works for business, offering a convenient location within one day’s drive of 80 percent of the nation’s population and the needed transportation system to reach clients.”

Siemer Milling currently employs about 125 associates at its mills in Teutopolis, Ill., and Hopkinsville, Ky. It plans to begin hiring millers, loaders, maintenance and packaging associates, laboratory technicians and managers in West Harrison for Whitewater Mill early next year.

Rick Siemer, president of Siemer Milling, said, “Nagel and Siemer see a great opportunity for flour milling in southeast Indiana. Existing and potential wheat supply and flour demand factors point to long-term success for this venture. We are very happy with the positive reception our project has received from local government in the Dearborn County area and the state of Indiana. Their encouraging attitude and assistance in dealing with regulatory issues is invaluable. In this case, transportation probably ranked as the No. 1 deciding factor on where to locate.”

Founded in 1882, Siemer Milling is a flour company that internally manages sanitation, pest management and food defense programs for its facilities, earning an A rating from the BRC Global Food Safety Initiative. Partner Nagel & Son also has deep roots in wheat milling, founded in 1857. Whitewater Mill will produce flours, flour co-products, wheat germ and bran for snack and dessert foods, baking mixes, biscuits, batters and breadings. This highly-automated facility will process 7 million bushels of wheat annually, much of which will be supplied by local farmers.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. offered Siemer Milling Co. up to $325,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Dearborn County approved additional incentives at the request of the Dearborn County Economic Development Initiative.

Dearborn County Commissioner Shane McHenry reported, “We have invested in land and infrastructure and are committed to our goal of developing the West Harrison area, as well as other viable areas of Dearborn County. This facility will bring jobs, tax base and, not to be overlooked, a new outlet for Indiana’s regional farmers. Rarely do you see a project that supports intermodal transport, agriculture, jobs and is a catalyst for ancillary businesses who may want to do business near a flour supplier.”