News Post

90 Years of Todd & Sargent – Part 2

Although riveted steel bins were being built at the turn of the century, the amount of interior bracing needed to support the walls interfered with the flow of ingredients. In 1961, Warren Sargent began designing bins with the bracing on the outside. The end result was the distinctive Todd & Sargent bins with their welded design, allowing for a smooth interior surface. This meant the bins emptied completely between batches so there was no hang up of stale feed or grain to contaminate fresh material.


Todd & Sargent built many steel structures from 1960 on. In the late ‘60s, T&S proposed a steel feed mill for Ceres Land Company in Sterling, Colorado. The customer said “Concrete,” and Warren said “Can Do,” adding jacks and buggies to the company’s vocabulary and slipforming to its construction methods.


Concrete construction allowed for larger facilities to be built more economically. Thanks to larger farms, higher yields, and increasing overseas markers, farmers were moving their grain to the country elevator sooner, creating the terminal elevator boom of the 1970s and early ‘80s. Elevator structures went from 150,000 bushels of storage in 1971 to two million bushels by 1980.


As the grain economy softened in the ‘80s, McDonald’s introduced Chicken McNuggets and the poultry industry began building new mills to meet the growing demand, renewing feed mills as the prime clients for T&S.


While grain terminals and feed mills were the main products, concrete construction took Todd & Sargent into many areas throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, including flour mills, pet food plants, and oilseed processing facilities and opened the door for work across the United States and Canada.


During the 1990s, changes in Canadian shipping rates created demand for major expansion of the grain industry. Todd & Sargent Canada was formed to participate in this new opportunity and built many new shipping terminals over the next decade.


In the 2000s, feed mills, grain elevators, soy processing facilities, and flour mills kept the slipform business moving, but the company was about to expand its presence in a new industry. In 2001, T&S began work in the ethanol and biodiesel industry. The first biodiesel facility was for long-time client West Central Soy in Ralston, Iowa. The boom in construction of new biodiesel facilities led to a strategic alliance between Todd & Sargent and Renewable Energy Group (REG), specializing in the design, engineering, construction, and start-up of new biodiesel facilities across the US.


In the 90-year history of the company, no two jobs have ever been exactly alike. Even when the same client wants identical plants in two locations, you can bet there will be some changes. Meeting these individual specifications is a challenge which motivates us to stay ahead of the changes in the industry and to design and build facilities which not only meet the client’s current needs, but also their future growth and expansion.

Brian Watson

Director of Project Management

Brian Watson is responsible for project management at Todd & Sargent, bringing consistent project delivery to our clients. He works closely with our project management teams and clients to ensure project quality, schedules, and budgets are met. Brian is a member of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society and International Association of Operative Millers. Brian graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Construction Engineering and has been with Todd & Sargent since 2014.


Christie Mohlke

Vice President – People

Christie Mohlke leads all HR functions at Todd & Sargent, such as culture, recruiting, training, compliance, employee onboarding and orientation, employee relations, benefits, and more. She has over 10 years of experience in human resources focusing on operations management. Christie graduated with a B.B.A. in Marketing from Austin Peay State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Cumberland University. She is a member of the National Society of Human Resource Management and is designated as a Professional of Human Resources.

Lesley Whitten

Operations Manager – Canada

Lesley Whitten oversees all aspects of our Canadian operations, from project management and engineering to field operations to ensure each facility meets client expectations. She has more than 15 years of experience in the construction industry, and she has worked on many new grain elevator builds, large scale elevator and facility upgrades, fertilizer facilities, and canola crushing plants while serving in roles from project coordinator up to project management manager. Lesley holds a CET (Certified Engineering Technologist) and PMP (Project Management Professional) accreditation.

James Bucher

Chief Financial Officer

James Bucher is responsible for Todd & Sargent’s finance, accounting, and information technology functions. He manages the T&S accounting team, banking and insurance relationships, and oversees the annual audits of the company’s financial statements, benefits plans, and insurance programs. James graduated from Iowa State University with a B.A. in Accounting and holds his Certified Public Accountant designation. James has been with Todd & Sargent since 2017.

Pat Taggart

Vice President – Field Operations

Pat Taggart is responsible for field operations at Todd & Sargent. His duties include overseeing safety, field construction teams, construction scheduling, and project quality assurance. He also oversees Todd & Sargent’s warehouse team. Pat graduated from Iowa State University with a B.S. in Agriculture Studies. Pat has been with Todd & Sargent since 1983.

Bryan Coussens, P.E.

Vice President – Engineering

Bryan Coussens is responsible for all aspects of Todd & Sargent’s engineering function. Bryan manages Todd & Sargent’s team of engineers and drafters to meet our clients’ complex engineering needs. He provides structural, process, and value engineering for projects in the grain, feed, flour, biofuels, and specialty industries. Bryan also reviews projects for code requirements and compliance. Bryan is a member of the American Concrete Institute and the American Institute of Steel Construction. He graduated from Iowa State University with a B.A. in Civil Engineering. Bryan has been with Todd & Sargent since 1996.

Scott Sylvester

Vice President – Business Development

Scott Sylvester is responsible for developing and maintaining strong client and partner relationships as well as identifying new market opportunities at Todd & Sargent. He has over 20 years serving clients and partners in the Ag and Industrial construction markets. He is an active member with the Iowa Association of Business and Industry and past member of Food Processing Suppliers Association and Iowa Lean Consortium. Scott graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a General Studies degree, with an emphasis on communications and psychology.

Alex Kerrigan

Vice President – Project Development

Alex Kerrigan is responsible for project development at Todd & Sargent, bringing ag and industrial projects from concept to reality. Alex works closely with each client’s team to develop successful facility designs and compile comprehensive and competitive cost estimates. Alex is a member of the American Feed Industry Association, Grain Elevator and Processing Society, International Association of Operative Millers, and National Grain and Feed Association. Alex graduated from the University of Notre Dame. Alex has been with Todd & Sargent since 2002.

Rori Bouchard

President – Canada

Rori Bouchard leads our Canada team to fulfilling the company mission and vision and ensures our company lives its values every day. He has more than 15 years of industry experience, with specialized knowledge in all facets of the construction of ag-industrial facilities with experience as a project manager, business development director, and managing director, among other roles. Rori is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of Manitoba and Grain Elevator and Processing Society. He graduated from the University of Manitoba with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Management.

Jon Sargent

President & CEO

Jon Sargent provides overall strategic and corporate direction to Todd & Sargent. In his role as President & CEO, he focuses on setting the company’s vision, leading the company’s leadership team, and ensuring the company lives its values every day. Jon is a member of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS), Construction Management Association, and former board member of Associated Builders & Contractors of Iowa. Jon graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.B.A. in Finance and from the University of Chicago with an M.B.A. in Economics. He is also a member of The Sargent Group, Inc. Board of Directors. Jon has been with Todd & Sargent since 2010.