PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA, U.S. — John Hultman from Ardent Mills, Denver, Colorado, U.S., was named the 2015 Milling Operative of the Year.

The award was presented on May 7 during the International Association of Operative Millers (IAOM) Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony. The ceremony was part of IAOM’s 119th Annual Conference & Expo.

Brad Allen of Ardent Mills, presented the award to Hultman.

Hultman has been in the milling industry for more than 35 years, working for one company, ConAgra Mills, and then a second by way of the Ardent Mills joint venture. He has the daily responsibility of running one of the company’s larger operations, and stepping in as the miller on shift.

“He would want it no other way, for it’s one of his enjoyments in life,” Allen said. “This recipient steps beyond dedication when it comes to performance on many levels, not only at his own mill, but when he is challenged in the support of many other plants across the country within his organization. He has been a head miller, a regional miller, and a miller like many sitting in this room.”

Hultman has coordinated the Kansas State University milling science internship program for more than 25 years and has served as guest lecturer for several of the milling science classes at the university. 

“His nurturing style of coaching and mentoring will capture your attention immediately and most likely the attention of the person in the room adjacent to where he stands tall,” Allen said. “Not only does he project his voice loud and clear when deep in a rooted conversation over the technical philosophies of milling, but he also projects simply a sincere passion for the art of this business.”

Allen said Hultman’s mill is used as an example of all the right things to target, from being pristine 24/7 to running some of the highest yields his organization has seen.

Hultman led a major consolidation and expansion project in 1999 — a greenfield mill construction which included two state-of-the-art 8,000 cwt/day flour mills and pack center. In 2013, he managed a milling expansion that resulted in adding 2,000 cwt/day of capacity.
Established in 1986 by Milling & Baking News, sister publication of World Grain, the award is given to the practicing milling operative who has made the most significant contribution to the progress of a plant, a company and the industry from an operating point of view.

Hultman received an inscribed plaque, and a scholarship will be established in his name by Sosland Publishing at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.

Previous recipients include:
Domenico Santoianni, ADM Milling Co., Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 2014
Tim Carroll, Pendleton Flour Mills, Blackfoot, Idaho, U.S., in 2013
Ken Ball, Star of the West Milling, Quincy, Michigan, U.S., in 2012
Scott Martin, ConAgra Mills, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., in 2011
Emil Kolb, Cargill, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., in 2010
Greg Ball, King Milling Company, Lowell, Michigan, U.S., in 2009
Ted Korolchuk, ConAgra Mills, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., in 2008
Michael Wade Blalock, Milner Milling Company Inc., Barnesville, Georgia, U.S., in 2007
Todd Peterson, North Dakota Mill, Grand Forks, North Dakota, U.S., in 2006
Everett Abercrombie, Horizon Milling, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S., in 2005
Mike Long, Bay State Milling Company, Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S., in 2004
Bob Reid, The Mennel Milling Company, Fostoria, Ohio, U.S., in 2003
Kevin Doehring, American Italian Pasta Co., Excelsior Springs, Missouri, U.S., in 2002
Neil Mathieson, Robin Hood Multifoods Inc., Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada, in 2001

Also during the banquet and awards ceremony, Bill Olson of Corbion Caravan received the Thaddeus B Bownik Outstanding Service award.