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Trust the Vision: How a DSM Company Grew Globally

Kemin Growth in DSM

June 24, 2019

As consumers, we don’t often think about food security. However, the global population is estimated to reach 10 billion people by 2050, and this expanded population will consume more resources. With this in mind, one Greater Des Moines (DSM) company is working to improve the quality of life for people, plants and animals across the planet.

Past and Present of Kemin Industries

Started in 1961 by R.W. and Mary Nelson from their family’s wool barn in DSM, Kemin Industries was focused then on developing innovative agricultural products. But by 1998, the global company had entered new markets, including human health, food technologies and pet food, so they launched a vision that would have a big impact — to  improve the quality of life by touching half the world’s population every day with their products and services. By 2017, their vision became a reality.

Now, Kemin has gathered more than 800 of its 2,800 employees from over 30 countries to announce their new vision for the future as part of a corporatewide event. Journey to the Vision is a global sales and marketing meeting hosted by Kemin in various locations around the world, and this year, as they look to the future, they’ve brought the event back to where it all began — DSM USA.

Growing from a small operation in the heart of Iowa to a global company that impacts more than 3.8 billion people each day doesn’t happen overnight. For Kemin, it took over 20 years and more than 500 specialty ingredients and encompassed all aspects of the business. It required that certain grit and tenacity that come from servant leadership and Midwest roots. It also required a lot of hard work and expertise from all corners of the world.

By using scientific expertise at the molecular level and by continuing to innovate, Kemin has expanded into the human and animal health and nutrition, aquaculture, pet food, nutraceutical, food technologies, crop technologies and textile industries. With this growth and diversification, Kemin has been able to reach more than half of the world’s population by being the science inside countless products that consumers use and interact with every day.

New Vision

With a new vision — to sustainably transform the quality of life every day for 80 percent of the world with their products and services, Kemin also launches a transformed logo, one that is focused on the future while respecting its history. Iowans may be familiar with Kemin’s signature red circle logo, but as the company looks to future growth and expansion, the border has been replaced with a red arch to represent forward movement, transparency and innovation.

For over half a century, Kemin has helped grow America’s Cultivation Corridor using applied science to address industry challenges and offer product solutions to customers in more than 120 countries. They provide ingredients to feed a growing population and are committed to the quality, safety and efficacy of food, feed and health-related products. Now, Kemin turns their attention to ensuring that the work done today, in Iowa and around the world, creates a better tomorrow.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) has one of the best business climates in the country. The region is nationally recognized for having a talented and educated workforce, a cost of doing business 17 percent below the national average, a low cost of living and an exceptional quality of life.

Lauren M.G. Burt

Lauren M.G. Burt leads external global corporate communications and public relations at Kemin Industries. Her primary responsibilities include managing worldwide communications, promoting the Kemin brand and serves as the official global spokesperson. Her other responsibilities include overseeing Kemin community engagement - locally and globally - crisis communications and executive communications. Most recently, Lauren led the Kemin global rebrand transformation and vision project for implementation in more than 90 countries.