“Know the customer and strive for their success.” – Otto H Kruse, Founder, OH Kruse Grain and Milling
At Western Milling, we live by the same commitment to customer satisfaction and success that drove Otto Kruse. We believe that humility and hard work, combined with safe, prudent and efficient operations, will ultimately bring results that matter for our customers and our employee owners. It is our mission to deliver quality products and services with superior customer service.
Our success evolved from hard work, perseverance, and a singular focus on getting the results that matter — our customers' seeing success with our products — as far back as 1935. And we are committed to continue serving our customers with this same focus on their success as we move forward.
17-year-old Otto H. Kruse starts work for the El Monte Grain Company as a laborer in the production and delivery of dairy and poultry feeds.
A casualty of the Great Depression, the El Monte Grain Company closes, and Otto goes on to work for F.F. Booker Wholesale Hay and Grain.
After the sudden death of F.F. Booker, Otto Kruse purchases the company in the middle of the Great Depression. He then restructures the company and renames it O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling.
Urban sprawl forces agricultural livestock populations out of Los Angeles and Orange County to San Bernardino and Riverside counties.
Otto's oldest son, Ronald Kruse, graduates from Kansas State University, with an emphasis in Feed Science. Ronald moves the business to San Bernardino County and constructs a modern feed mill in Ontario. Production begins immediately to better serve the growing dairy industry in nearby Chino Valley.
Ronald Kruse becomes the Chief Executive of the Company and continues to bring a number of innovations to the company from the area's first unit trains to least cost formulating software run on then modern computers.
A third generation of the Kruse family officially joins the family business. Ronald's son, Kevin Kruse, graduates from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is given the task of constructing a modern feed mill in the San Joaquin Valley, as they see a trend of livestock production moving to the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the world.
In the heart of the dairyshed, Kevin oversees completion of the state of the art feed mill in Pixley, CA, and operations are underway. The mill produces 60,000 tons of feed per month.
Kevin Kruse becomes president of the company and, eventually, moves the Company's headquarters to the San Joaquin Valley.
A British firm approaches the Kruse family with an attractive offer. The deal ensures no changes to the management team. After several months of negotiations, the purchase is complete and O.H. Kruse is owned by Tate & Lyle, Ltd.
Tate & Lyle, Ltd. leaves the feed business in the United States and Kevin Kruse looks to start up a new venture with business partner Tony Correia. Kevin and Tony acquire a former Louis Rich feed mill just outside Visalia, CA, and Western Milling is born, with a focus on bulk feed manufacturing.
Western Milling purchases the O.H. Kruse Grain & Milling business unit, including the Perfection brand, back from a competitor, returning to the retail feed business where the Company's heritage began.
In a joint venture with Harris Ranch, Western Milling purchases a mill in Hanford, CA, now known as Hanford Grain Company.
Western Milling acquires majority ownership in Western Foods, LLC, a gluten-free flour milling and snack manufacturer, based in Woodland, CA.
Western Milling acquires Winema Elevators, bringing additional storage and origination capabilities in Northern California and Oregon.
With strategic growth, multiple companies and demand on the rise, the Western Milling leadership decides it's time an Employee Stock Ownership Plan is introduced to keep the tradition of "knowing thy customer and striving for their success" moving forward into future generations.
Our Company remains committed to Otto Kruse’s motto: Know thy customer and strive for their success. His legacy has spanned three generations, and has been at the core of making Western Milling who we are today. We remain in tireless pursuit of customer success and continue to aspire to be the leading and most diverse agriculturally based, nutrient solutions business in the Western United States.
We believe the best path forward for customer satisfaction and long term sustainability is through the empowerment of our employees. In 2015, we introduced our Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
As owners, our employees now see, more than ever, that our mission and our future, is their mission and future. In that vein, our mission is singular: we strive for the success of the people and companies who feed their communities by providing trusted nutrient solutions.