Scott Freebern, of Dakota Dunes, chief operating officer at PHM Brands, received the 2021 Milling Operative of the Year award at the International Association of Operative Millers’ 125th Anniversary Conference & Expo in Little Rock, AR.

Scott and Heather Freebern

Scott Freebern and his wife, Heather, are pictured with his award at the national meeting.

The award is presented annually to the practicing milling operative who has made the most significant contributions to the progress of their plant, their company and the industry from an operating point of view.

In the introduction, IAOM Past President and PHM Brands colleague Brad Allen noted how Freebern helped grow the organization from one flour mill in Texas to nine locations across the United States is just five years.

“He is recognized for his ability to dial in machines to produce exactly what is needed; if he is asked to create a new product, he finds a way to make the equipment accomplish the task,” Allen said. “His talents as a miller, ability to improve processes and commission new equipment are second only to his desire to bring it all to the table every day and make his company better.”

Freebern thanked his wife, Heather, and everyone at PHM Brands, noting John, Bryan, Pete and Brad, specifically.

“Six years ago we all left our jobs and started a new company, and it’s been amazing,” he said. “We’re going in the right direction – and we’re just getting started.”

Freebern also gave a nod to those at ConAgra Foods, where he started his milling career.

“There was an amazing group at ConAgra Foods, and they’ve trained a lot of us. I’d like to thank all of those guys,” he said.

Freebern is the 36th recipient of the award. Milling & Baking News and Sosland Publishing established a $1,500 scholarship in the recipient’s name at Kansas State University, to be given to a deserving student in the Department of Grain Science and Industry.