FOSTORIA, OHIO, US — Mennel Grain Kingston was named the 2023 Mennel Milling Co. “Plant of the Year,” an award intended to recognize outstanding efforts and results within the Operations Division while sparking healthy competition across departments and facilities.

Since 2013, the company’s Operations Division has presented an Operational Excellence Award, or a “Facility of the Year” award to a deserving Mennel manufacturing plant, mill, grain elevator, operations group/department or individual that exemplifies what it means to be operationally excellent, based on their overall results, efforts and activities throughout the fiscal year. 

The 2023 award was presented Sept. 28 to Mennel Grain Kingston, also known as Valley Grain, in Kingston, Ohio, US, by Dave Marty, vice president of operations.

“The FY23 award winner is a group of individuals who truly exemplify the ‘Mennel Way’ and is a shining example of what our culture is all about,” Marty said. “Possessing can-do attitudes, hard work, teamwork like no other, dedication, and flexibility to change course and help their division out at a moment’s notice; Kingston embodies who we are as an organization. Despite being a ‘lean’ crew, this group packs a punch and gets the job done.”

According to Sosland Publishing Co.’s 2023 Grain & Milling Annual, the location has 1.859 million bushels of licensed grain storage capacity with loading and receiving capabilities for rail and truck. The elevator handles wheat, corn and soybeans. Fiscal year 2023 was a particularly strong year financially for the Mennel Grain Kingston location, which doubled its profits this past year, the company said.

“This type of result does not happen without doing the right things from an operational standpoint,” Marty said. “We call this ‘Operational Excellence.’ That’s a fancy term that means doing the right things at the right time and for the right reasons. It takes effort and communication, and teamwork, and going the extra mile.”

Jacob Hall, regional grain operations manager, said, “I couldn’t be prouder of our location and this group. We had some good opportunities last year, and we were able to capitalize on a large percentage of them. The hard work, dedication and willingness to continually improve is impressive. I feel that this group of individuals has the potential to continue to grow as a team and experience continued success.”

Mike MaGinn, director of grain operations at Mennel, helped present the award and lauded the Kingston team’s leadership and commitment.

“I am proud of the Mennel Kingston team for representing how the grain division operates,” MaGinn said. “Jacob and his employees are very deserving of this award. Jacob leads by example, and I feel that has everything to do with his success there. He works alongside the staff and is always willing to teach and answer any questions they have.”