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Historical photo of Nutrena employees standing outside of feed mill

Our History

For over 100 years, Nutrena has been a leading producer of animal feed, committed to providing high-quality and innovative nutrition solutions for a variety of animals. From the beginning, we made it our business to give you and your animals the best. In 2021, we celebrated 100 years, and today we’re still at it: Feeding generations for generations.

Feeding Generations

From the beginning, we made it our business to give you and your animals the best.

We’ve been feeding animals for over 100 years! Our people are passionate about delivering quality nutrition to keep your animals happy and healthy.


  • 1920 — Miller-McConnell Grain Company established in Kansas City, KS.
  • 1921 — Nutrena is registered with the US Trademark Office.
  • 1922 — Nutrena is granted a patent by the US Patent Office.
  • 1925 — Nutrena introduces the first colored bag into the feed industry.
  • 1926 — Nutrena is the first feed company to introduce cod liver oil, rich in vitamins A&D, in its feed.
  • 1929 — Nutrena introduces the first pellet mill.


  • 1945 — Cargill buys Nutrena’s stock, doubling the size of Cargill’s feed business.
  • 1949 — Nutrena introduces Animal Protein Factor (APF) and vitamin B12 to poultry and swine feeds.
  • 1950s — Nutrena continues to expand, purchasing Royal Feed and Milling Company as well as the Giddings, TX plant from Fairmont Foods.
  • 1957 — The research farm is established in Elk River, MN.
  • 1965 — Cargill purchases Pillsbury’s feed division. The Nutrena brand begins to appear as Cargill Nutrena.
  • 1969 — The Quaker Oats plant is purchased and rebuilt to Nutrena specifications. Additional acquisitions bring the number of mills to 31.
  • 1974 — Nutrena expands to Canada with the acquisition of National Grain facilities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
  • 1975-78 — Nutrena replaces three feed mills with the most modern plants in the industry.
  • 1980s — Nutrena expands to the East with the acquisition of Young’s Premix in Pennsylvania, and to the West with Stockton Hay and Grain in California.


  • 2000 — Nutrena establishes itself as a stand-alone brand focused on the ag-retail market segment. Takes on the identity and logo that we know today.
  • 2001 — Cargill acquires Agribrands Intl., adding two complete research facilities as well as additional production facilities in 26 countries around the globe. Nutrena’s foundation of experts and technology expand accordingly. 
  • 2001 — Nutrena’s foundation begins a relationship with the American Quarter Horse Association the world’s largest horse breed association.


  • 2002 — Introduction of new extrusion technology allows production of Nutrena’s Empower Boost a new high fat rice bran equine supplement—to the industry.
  • 2004 — Nutrena launches XTN, a new generation equine formula specially designed to deliver higher levels of performance and to minimize the negative effects of stress from rigorous training and competition.
  • 2005 — Nutrena launches SafeChoice, a controlled starch formula, scientifically balanced for horses in all life stages—and carefully designed for simplified feeding, added safety and superior nutrition.
  • 2007 — Nutrena launches Smart Grain Technology —a revolutionary breakthrough in grainbased nutrition that delivers superior performance and a welcome margin of safety.
  • 2007 — Nutrena introduces Loyall – A new line of premium dog and cat food, available exclusively at ag-retail outlets.
  • 2010 — Nutrena expands its horse feed supplement offering with the addition of Empower Balance, a grass ration balancer formula, to the Empower line.
  • 2011 — Nutrena introduces the NatureWise Natural poultry feeds and Country Feeds poultry feed lines to consumers.
  • 2012 — Nutrena introduces new products to the SafeChoice horse feed line – Special Care, Perform, Senior, Maintenance, and Mare & Foal.
  • 2013 — Nutrena launches NatureWise Feather Fixer – a unique poultry feed designed to help birds get through molt faster.
  • 2014 — Nutrena launches a new premium line of performance horse feeds – the ProForce line, including Fuel, XTN, Senior, and Fiber.
  • 2016 — Nutrena adds the Loyall Life line of no corn, no soy, no wheat pet foods to its line up, to meet the needs of pet owners.
  • 2016 — Nutrena introduces Topline Balance, a new approach to topline health. Topline Balance is a unique combination of bio-available amino acids, built right in to existing Nutrena horse feeds.
  • 2018 — Nutrena relaunches the best-selling SafeChoice horse feed line, with improved amino acid profiles, improved palatability, plus the addition of the first textured products in the line, which maintain nutrition while offering controlled starch levels in a textured feed.
  • 2019 — Nutrena introduces Empower Digestive Balance, a pelleted top dress supplement that provides comprehensive support for the overall gastrointestinal tract of the horse.
  • 2020 — Nutrena introduces Country Feeds Duck Feed, a unique product designed specifically with the needs of duck flocks in mind.
  • 2020 — Nutrena relaunches ProForce horse feed line with Rebound Technology.
  • 2021 — Nutrena relaunches NatureWise poultry feed line, with improved formulas with essential oils, prebiotics, probiotics, yeast culture, and vitamin D3 to maximize egg production and gain superior egg shell strength.
  • 2023 Nutrena introduces Nutrena True, formulated for active dogs with complete and balanced nutrition to support healthy mobility and digestion.
  • 2023 Nutrena relaunches SafeChoice horse feeds with an enhanced formula that features newly added Digestive Shield to support the horse’s gut and immune system with a precise blend of controlled starch, pre + pro + postbiotics, and calcite.


Aerial photo of Cargill's innovation center in Elk River, Minnesota

Research & Innovation

What’s inside counts. We know you rely on Nutrena feed products to meet your standards in every bag. We are dedicated to innovating with our people, processes and products to bring you the best solution for your animals.