Ag Processing Inc Retired General Manager and First CEO Jim Lindsay Passes Away at 81

Jim Lindsay, the first Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Ag Processing Inc (AGP), died February 10 at the age of 81.

Lindsay led the Company for over 17 years following its formation in 1983.Lindsay

He retired in 2000, having led the cooperative from humble beginnings to the world’s largest soybean processing cooperative.

“Jim Lindsay was a true leader in the agriculture industry,” said Keith Spackler, AGP CEO and general manager. “AGP was fortunate to have selected Jim to lead the new Company during tough times for agriculture in the early 1980s.

“He set the foundation for future growth and success at AGP with many accomplishments during his career.”

“Jim was deeply committed to his family and community,” said Spackler.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family.”

For more information, please contact Matt Caswell at 402-498-2279 or


ChemChina Bids $43 Billion for Syngenta

In what could be the largest ever foreign purchase by a Chinese company, ChemChina has officially made a bid of $43 billion for Syngenta AG. The cash offer, which was endorsed by the Syngenta board translates to $465 per share, or approximately 20% above the stock’s last close, according to Bloomberg.

Home to 21% of the world’s population, but only 9% of its arable agricultural land, China is being driven by the galloping expansion of its population, a limited arable land base, and challenges regarding pollution to look overseas for food security solutions.

“Only around 10 percent of Chinese farmland is efficient. This is more than just a company buying another. This is a government attempting to address a real problem,” a source told Reuters. Although China is the second biggest corn producing country in the world, yields are 44% below those in the U.S. according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, reports Bloomberg.

As the world’s largest pesticide producer and owner of one of the largest seed portfolios containing 6,800 varieties, Syngenta will enable China’s agricultural sector to mitigate the effects of degraded farmland and polluted water supplies, and if the deal is completed, it will give make ChemChina the world’s top supplier of agrochemicals.

Syngenta CEO, John Ramsay, told Retuers that he did envision any major challenges to the deal’s completion, saying that ChemChina has secured financing from a collection of Chinese sources along with HSBC and China CITIC Bank International, adding that The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which will analyze if the deal poses a threat to American food security, will not pose a roadblock, due to limited overlap saying,  “I think the overall regulatory approvals will not be very challenging.”

Under the conditions of the deal which is scheduled to close by the end of the year, a special dividend of five Swiss francs will be paid upon closing, and ChemChina will retain Syngenta’s management team, with ChemChina Chairman, Ren Jianxin leading a 10-person board including four Syngenta members. In addition, a deal breakup fee for ChemChina of approximately $3 billion and for Syngenta of approximately $1.5 billion was included. ChemChina will also study the possibility of an initial public offering for the company “in the years to come.”

Looking toward the future, Syngenta’s chairman, Michel Demare told Reuters that ChemChina will be seeking out more deals to further ensure China’s food security, stating, “ChemChina has a very ambitious vision of the industry in the future. Obviously it is very interested in securing food supply for 1.5 billion people and as a result knows that only technology can get them there.”

Register now for the TAMU/IOMSA 84th Oil Mill Operators Short Course

Mark your calendar for the 84th Oil Mill Operators Short Course, April 10-12, 2016, in Des Moines, IA.

The course is organized by the Food Protein Research and Development Center, Texas A&M University, and IOMSA.

Check the March/April of Oil Mill Gazetteer for course theme and topics, hotel information, and other details.

For more information, call Richard Clough, TAMU, at 979-862-2262.

Walter Farr … 1948-2015

Walter E. “Sonny” Farr Jr., on Oct. 30, 2015 passed away at the age of 77. A native of Houston, MS, Farr spent more than four decades engineering and patenting edible food oils and automotive biofuel processes. The long-time IOMSA member also co-authored multiple books on oilseed extraction.

Farr graduated in 1960 from Mississippi State University, Starkville, with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a minor in chemical engineering.

He began his career with Wesson ConAgra in Memphis, TN, where he served as a chemist and later as a refinery superintendent.

Farr then went on to work for ADM, Decatur, IL; Anderson Clayton & Company, Houston, TX; Kraft General Foods, Memphis, TN; Owensboro Grain Company, Owensboro, KY; and DeSmet Ballestra, Atlanta, GA.

During his time with Kraft Foods, he worked to develop high-shear mixing methods for the oilseed extraction process.

Farr also worked with De Smet Process and Technology, Inc. in Marietta, GA, before retiring in 2003.

Upon retirement, he founded the Farr Group of Companies in Memphis, TN.

He is survived by his wife, Sue Beasley Farr; son, Ralph; daughters, Cindy Hester and Kimberly Moffitt; and granddaughter, Caitlin Cyan Hester.

Cargill to Upgrade Wichita, KS Processing Plant

Cargill in early October announced plans to upgrade and expand the soybean processing capacity of its Wichita, KS facility. The $50-million project is expected to be completed in 2017.

According to John White, facility manager for Cargill’s Wichita Grain & Oilseeds Supply Chain business, “Our Wichita facility is in a great location to buy soybeans and supply soybean meal to our livestock producers and customers.

“We are very excited about making this long-term investment, not just in our facility, but also in our commitment to our employees, community, farmer suppliers, and the variety of customers who use our soy-based products,” says White.

Project Details
“We will be upgrading the plant’s processing equipment, automation and controls, utilities, and much more to keep pace with current and future farmer supply and customer demand,” he says. “We expect to increase production by 30% when the project is complete.”

Cargill has operated the Wichita soybean processing plant since the 1960s, alongside its Cargill Dressing, Sauces, and Oils refinery plant, which further processes most of the soybean oil produced on site.
Including Cargill’s meat businesses, the company employs more than 1,000 in Wichita.

AGP to Build Aberdeen, SD Processing Plant

Ag Processing Inc (AGP) in late November selected Aberdeen, SD as the site for the company’s tenth soybean processing facility and its first in South Dakota.

According to company officials, final construction decisions are contingent on the completion of agreements with state and local officials.

“Our selection of the Aberdeen, SD site for a new AGP soybean processing facility is the result of extensive analysis and negotiation,” says Chief Executive Officer Keith Spackler.

“Aberdeen and the surrounding region have the strategic attributes necessary for a successful soybean processing plant – a plentiful soybean supply, stable workforce, solid infrastructure, and transportation capabilities,” explains Spackler. “We look forward to a great future there.”

Large SD Presence
According to Chief Operating Officer and Group Vice President Cal Meyer, “AGP has a large market presence in the area through its member-owned cooperatives in South Dakota.”

Meyer says that recent growth in the region’s soybean productivity will provide the bushels to support the Aberdeen facility, which will create approximately 50 jobs when operational.
“The soybean meal produced from this plant will enhance opportunities for AGP’s marketing efforts through our export terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor in the state of Washington,” he adds.

Monsanto Plans $140 Million Cottonseed Processing Plant


Monsanto Company announced in mid-January it is investing $140 million for the construction of a state-of-the-art cottonseed processing facility in Lubbock, Texas that will fulfill the role as the group’s foremost U.S. hub for all of its commercial cottonseed processing activity including treating, cleaning, and bagging.

Construction of the site, which is being built in cooperation with the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, and is expected to employ 40 full time employees, is scheduled to begin in March of 2016 and to be completed in the second half of 2017.  Upon its completion, existing cottonseed processing facilities in Arizona, Mississippi, and Texas will be transformed into storage and warehousing sites, pre-commercial operations, and research facilities, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The decision to move forward with the facility in Lubbock is part of the company’s strategic plan announced in October 2015 to streamline its operations, create scale, and enhance the company’s efficiency after three years of declining commodity prices have resulted in farmers cutting back on inputs.

“Bringing people, processes and technology together at a new, state-of-the-art cotton facility in Lubbock will boost collaboration and efficiency within our manufacturing organization,” said Dave Penn, cotton manufacturing lead at Monsanto. “Furthermore, its geographic location in Lubbock, Texas, will allow for better alignment with the cotton industry and help us better serve customers across the Cotton Belt.”

Register Now for the 122nd Annual IOMSA Summer Convention

The stage has been set for the the 122nd Annual IOMSA Summer Convention, June 12-14, 2016, at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Sioux Falls, SD.

This year’s convention features 12 speakers and nine hours of educational presentations.

The keynote speaker is Fred Haise, who was portrayed by actor Bill Paxton in the blockbuster Ron Howard film, Apollo 13, and served as the lunar module pilot during the ill-fated 1970 space mission.

Also scheduled is a golf tournament the morning of Sunday, June 12 and a bowling tournament the afternoon of Tuesday, June 14.

Look in the March/April issue of Oil Mill Gazetteer for an in-depth convention preview.

For more information, call Linda Paukert at 817-297-4668.

For a condensed schedule, click here.

For a complete schedule, click here.

For online convention registration, click here.

To register for the convention by mail, click here.

For sponsorship inquiries, click here.

To renew your membership, click here.