The Andersons has an ethanol division that operates three ethanol plants in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio that are collectively capable of producing 300 million gallons of ethanol, but that is just a small part of the 60-year-old company’s diverse business interests
I learned a lot about The Andersons this week on the Conservation Technology Information Center 2011 Conservation in Action Tour in northwest Ohio. The diversified company, which was started in the late 1940’s by Harold Anderson, has various business divisions including the grain and ethanol, plant nutrients, railcar leasing and repair, turf products production, and consumer retailing industries.
Al Bensch, vice president of northern operations for The Andersons Plant Nutrient Group, spoke on one of the three tour buses as we drove past much of the company’s Maumee, Ohio operations. “We’re basic in commodity markets, grain and fertilizer,” he said. The Grain Division operates grain terminals in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Nebraska with storage capacity of 107 million bushels.
They got into the ethanol business as a natural extension of the grain division back in 2005, starting with a joint venture in Michigan, then adding the Clymers, Indiana plant and finally the one in Greenville, Ohio. “We are not the majority owner of those (plants), we’re a minority,” said Bensch. “Marathon is a partner in one and I think that was the first time a major oil company got involved in the ethanol business.” (See our post from November 2006)
Listen to some of Al’s comments here: Al Bensch, The Andersons