MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — In 1865, William Wallace Cargill became the owner of a single grain warehouse in Conover, Iowa, U.S., at the end of the McGregor Western Railroad. Today, the company he founded, now one of the largest privately-held enterprises in the world, begins its yearlong 150th anniversary celebration.

“We are proud of our legacy and the many people who have created it,” said David MacLennan, Cargill’s president and chief executive officer. “Throughout our anniversary year, we will be reflecting on our past and present, and we’ll use those reflections as a springboard to help us focus our thinking on how we can help our partners and customers thrive in an increasingly complex world.”

In 2015, for example, Cargill will bring together emerging international thought leaders with Cargill Learning Journeys in Africa and China, and will prominently participate in events where improving food security and sustainable food production are core topics.

Cargill also is marking its 150th anniversary with an online collection of stories  highlighting its long legacy of innovation and its commitment to helping nourish people around the world. The stories are an account of the people, decisions and innovations that shaped Cargill as it evolved from its modest beginnings in the American Midwest to a major international marketer, transporter and processor of agricultural, financial and industrial products and services.

Milestones highlighted on the site include:
1865: Cargill’s first grain warehouse in Conover, Iowa, helps farmers move their grain to market.
1967: Cargill fills an entire train – 115 cars – with Illinois corn. This more efficient process results in better prices for consumers and higher profits for farmers.
1991: Cargill introduces more humane cattle practices, including a blueprint that promotes more peaceful and insightful handling methods. 
1998: Because the Gulf of Kutch’s waters are shallow, Cargill designs the first floating, offshore port in India, allowing for food and other goods to be unloaded and then transferred by ferry.
2013: Cargill’s Hindoli palm plantation achieves official Indonesia Sustainable Palm Oil certification and is cited as a model for sustainable palm oil production.

Cargill businesses and locations around the world also will recognize the 150th anniversary with celebrations for employees and their families.