Siemer Milling Company of Teutopolis is one of several local employers that offers employees participation in company financial success through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Created in 2000, the Siemer ESOP is a part of the company retirement plan. Every year, plan participants receive actual shares as a contribution from the company; these shares increase in value based on company growth and profitability; and employees sell them back to the company when they retire (or otherwise leave). The Siemer ESOP has been very successful, with share value increasing over 1000% since inception. Even better, since there are relatively few employees for the size of the company, each person's results are more lucrative than in many other ESOPs. This has been a terrific benefit for Siemer employees, and since the value of the benefit depends on business success, the ESOP is also a big motivator to company performance.
Siemer Milling Company is a major contributor to local economies where it operates. It has a substantial payroll for its 185 employees. Beyond that, it buys over 26 million bushels of wheat each year for milling into flour. Recently, that amount of wheat is worth over $200 million, paid to local farmers and merchandisers. There is a large net inflow of money to our area, since Siemer sells the flour to customers all over the country, with much of the proceeds paid to nearby vendors for their inputs.
In its continuing program of investment to upgrade its facilities, Siemer Milling Company is completing a new coproducts storage and loading tower. Over 20% of what Siemer sells is “not flour,” i.e., parts of the wheat kernel that get removed in the milling process. Those parts have nutritional and functional value, and their sales make an important contribution to Siemer financials. The new tower will enable more efficient handling of product, and minimize handling loss. Facilities that will be consequently removed are among the very few remaining elements of the Teutopolis plant that predate 1978 – even though Siemer has operated on the site since 1882.