Wayzata-based food giant Cargill Inc. broke ground this week on a $50 million project to expand and renovate its research and development facility in Elk River.
First opened in 1958 and located 30 minutes from the company’s headquarters, the Elk River Animal Nutrition Innovation Center has seen a few renovations over the years, but none as robust as this one, a Cargill spokesperson said in an email. Currently employing around 110 people, the expansion will create more opportunities for additional hires in the coming years due to more capacity and lab testing needs, the company said.
The updates include a new laboratory and upgrades to the location’s animal facility, dairy innovation unit, feed mill, and visitor’s space.
“This is the largest investment Cargill’s animal nutrition business has made in innovation,” Adriano Marcon, Group Leader of Cargill’s animal nutrition business, said in a statement. “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.”
The move to expand in Elk River is part of an effort by Cargill to support its global research and development operations.
In recent years, animal producers have found themselves operating in an increasingly complex world due to volatile commodity markets, changing regulations, and evolving consumer needs, Cargill said in a news release. Company execs believe that makes research more important than ever.
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