Office of University Relations
SDSM& T News
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Phone: ( 605) 394- 6082/ 2554 • Fax: ( 605) 394- 6177
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
( May 5, 1999)
CARGILL CHAIRMAN AND CEO ERNEST MICEK TO DELIVER SDSM& T COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS
The South Dakota School Of Mines and Technology ( SDSM& T) will hold its 139th commencement this Saturday, May 8, 1999. The ceremony begins at 10: 00 am in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena. Cargill, Incorporated Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ernest Micek will deliver this year’s commencement address.
Cargill is a privately held agricultural and industrial commodity trading and processing firm based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. It is an international marketer, processor and distributor of agricultural, food, financial and industrial products that has grown from a single grain warehouse in 1865 into a global company with more than 80,600 employees in more than 1,000 locations in 65 countries and with business activities in 130 more.
Micek joined Cargill in 1959 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a chemical engineering degree. His first job was at a flax plant in Minneapolis, and after serving for a brief time in the Army Corps of Engineers, Micek became production shift supervisor of a soybean processing plant in Virginia. He later held several positions in Wichita, Spain, and the Twin Cities before becoming manager of a corn milling plant in Cedar Rapids, IA. Micek has since worked his way up the corporate ladder holding several managerial positions to include president of the corn milling division in 1981, president of the food sector in 1992 and executive vice president of Cargill in 1993. He served as president from 1994- 1998 and in August 1995 was elected chairman and CEO. When Cargill took over it was not only a new leadership era, but the end of an era when two family shareholders, the MacMillan and Cargill families, would no longer actively manage the company.
Micek comes from humble beginnings growing up on a 250- acre farm in Wisconsin when his family’s income came largely from dairy cows, hogs, sheep and laying hens. He spent his first four years formal education attending a one- room schoolhouse. It was during his childhood in the 40’ s when the hybrid seeds came into widespread use and revolutionized life on the farm, that his life- long involvement with agriculture began.
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On April 14, 1999 Cargill announced the retirement of Ernest Micek. Micek will retire as chairman and CEO in August 2000. Among his many contributions during his 40 years with the company, Micek is credited with helping build the food processing businesses into a significant part of the company.
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Devereaux Library. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.