- ADM Biopolis VP Wins NutraChampion Award for Lifetime Achievement
- ADM Opens Enzyme Lab in California
- ADM Recognized for Efforts to Promote Workplace Diversity in Ag
- ADM Vice Presidents Camille Batiste, Alix Dowling Named Women Worth Watching
- Creating and Sharing Ag Training Videos in Uganda
- Empowering Smallholder Farmers with Locally-Made Technology
- Growing Business Alliances through Bolivian Quinoa
- Helping Students with Virtual Reality and Technology
- Innovating by Trapping and Storing Carbon Underground
- Making the “Ultimate Plastic” from a Corn-Based Molecule
- A One-Stop-Shop for Food Innovation in Decatur
- Our Commitment to No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation
- Paving the Way for Growth with Vegetable Oil
- POLY4: A Game-Changing Product
- Supporting Agricultural Education in Macon County
- Study Shows ADM Protexin Live Cultures Product Could Offer Hope to Individuals with Severe Head Discomfort
- ADM Animal Nutrition Commercial Sales Manager Serves as 2019 Indianapolis 500 “Milk Man”
- ADM’s Fabiana Bianchi and Manda Tweten are this year’s Women Worth Watching®
- Making the Perfect Plant-Based Burger
- ADM and Marfrig Team Up to Produce Plant-based Burgers in Brazil
- ADM’s New Flour Mill Offers Unparalleled Efficiency and Flexibility
- Creating Chemicals that are Good for the Company and the World
- Veronica Braker on Breaking Through Barriers and Fostering Inclusivity
- Creating Climate-Smart Farming Villages in India
- How do you brew a better beer? With ADM solutions
- These are our founders. This is their story.
- ADM's Leadership in Plant-based Protein
- Driving Sustainable Mint Innovation from the Ground Up
- Extending the Life of Cardboard with ADM Specialty Starches
- ADM’s Most-Read Stories in 2019
- Unlocking ADM’s Identity
- Emerging Research in Worms is Early Indicator of Bio-Kult Bacteria Strain’s Potential Impact on Parkinson’s
- ADM’s Global Flexitarian Summit: The Forefront of Alt-Protein Creation
- ADM’s Wright Named A “Woman Worth Watching in STEM”
- ADM’s Mayka van Acht on the Changing Role of Women in the Agriculture Industry
- How ADM Cares is Helping One Woman in Kenya Improve the Lives of Children
- ADM’s Chief Human Resources Officer Answers your Questions about Remote Work
- Five Things ADM Chief Sustainability Officer Alison Taylor Wishes She Knew When She Started
- On the Front Lines: ADM’s Jeff Belcher
- ADM Microbiome Solutions Win Industry Awards
- Team ADM's Women Engineers On Shaping the World
- Promoting Racial Diversity and Equity at ADM
- Hunger Relief at the Heart of Our Purpose: A Conversation with ADM Cares
- Donating Microbial Food Supplements to Healthcare Heroes
- ADM Vessel Rescues Two Sailors off the Coast of the Western Sahara
- Working Together to Feed Chicagoland
- ADM Partners with Auburn University to Innovate in Poultry Feed Enzymes
- Creating an Edge in Sustainable Ice Cream Solutions with Refreshing Summer Flavors
- ADM and Bollywood Stars Partner to Bring “Imagine Meats” to India
- How One Member of #TeamADM is Helping us Fight Food Insecurity in Amsterdam
- Using Innovative Video Technology and Augmented Reality to Solve Problems in the Era of COVID-19
- ADM’s Ganador Increases Commitment to Mexican Pet Shelters During the Pandemic
- Ganador® de ADM incrementa su compromiso durante la pandemia con los albergues mexicanos para mascotas
- ADM Joins Brazilian Business Sector in Offering Support to Amazon Council
- Strive 35: ADM’s Plan to Carry Us Forward Sustainably
- Three Key Takeaways from ADM's Climate Week Panel on Sustainability and Growth
- How ADM Supports Smallholder Vanilla Farmers
These are our founders. This is their story.
Two ambitious people come together and, from humble beginnings in someone’s garage or a makeshift office, create a company that grows and shapes a world they never could have imagined.
One is the bear, the other the bull. One acts as the extroverted face of the company, the other its introverted sage.
This odd-couple tale is one of the most familiar narratives in business. From Jobs and Wozniak at Apple to Procter and Gamble at P&G, corporate history is filled with stories of unlikely duos who — through their shared passion, innovation and perseverance — build a great and lasting success.
This also happens to be our story.
ADM’s founders were an unlikely but fortuitous match. George Archer was a quiet man and a deliberate planner, widely respected for his comprehensive knowledge of the linseed oil industry. John Daniels was outgoing and brash, extremely popular in trade circles and a leader in industry associations. Their distinct personalities made for a formidable combination and, in many ways, created the DNA of the company we are today.
It was Archer (above left) who first sensed a new opportunity in the linseed oil marketplace at the start of the 20th century. When business took him west to Minnesota, he took note of the fertile soil, strong rail infrastructure and growing population in Minneapolis. There, he saw a promising alternative to the declining production of linseed in the east. So he wrote a letter to Daniels (above right), a friend from their years together in the industry, encouraging him to act on the opportunity.
And act he did.
In July 1902, ground was broken on the Daniels Linseed Co.’s first mill in Minneapolis. “Year around production with low margins” was the new company’s creed, and a small but hard-working team produced linseed oil for industrial applications such as paints, sealants and adhesives.
Archer soon joined his friend and during the company’s first decade, the two sat in facing roll-top desks in a small one-story office adjoining the original mill. The office was sweltering, full of noise from the plant’s presses and redolent with the aroma of linseed oil.
Daniels’ knack for relationship building helped lay the groundwork for future growth and expansion. Archer’s careful supervision and keen eye for unnecessary costs helped the young company manage through lean times, which were many.
Expenses were monitored so closely that Daniels and Archer each carefully opened the morning mail so that the envelopes could provide the day’s scratch paper. Rather than spend on office amenities, earnings were reinvested through stock dividends, plant improvements and growth projects that helped the company survive the 1903 depression and a subsequent downturn in 1907.
Despite having a limited portfolio and little cash on hand, their strategic utilization of resources helped the company turn an improbable profit of $30,212.80 during its first half year of operation and an additional $72,000 by the end of the first full fiscal year. By the company’s tenth anniversary, it had tripled production capacity and increased capitalization almost eight times. And in the decade to come, the unique partnership between Archer and Daniels, based on a shared understanding that cost-consciousness and growth go hand in hand, carried the company into new markets and greater success.
Generation after generation, ADM colleagues have demonstrated this same understanding.
From pinching pennies on office supplies in 1903 to unlocking millions in run-rate benefits through Readiness initiatives, our resourcefulness underlies our ability to act on growth opportunities as they arise. Where Archer saw potential in the Great Lakes as a shipping channel, more recently it’s been the Paraná and Danube rivers. And where the fertile lands of Minnesota originally signaled new opportunity, today we're set to capitalize on growing consumer demand for food and beverage products that are natural, sustainable, and support good health.
By combining unmatched knowledge of our industry with an unwavering commitment to excellence, we’ve made the most of opportunities for nearly 117 years and grown from a regional linseed oil business to one of the world’s largest agricultural processors and food ingredient providers.
Forty thousand people. One very formidable combination.