Lowell Andreas

Lowell Andreas helped cultivate Archer Daniels Midland Company into a $22 billion corporate wonder, and he did it by using the ol’ bean.

At 80, he’s an American business icon. In 1947, he and brother Dwayne purchased a little soybean processing plant in Mankato, renamed it Honeymead, and rehabbed it into the nation’s largest soybean plant of its type before selling out in the 1960s. Their success story could have ended there, with Lowell basking on a Florida beach, sipping iced tea through a bent straw, and playing endless rounds of golf on Bermuda grass. But it didn’t: he and Dwayne would invest their cash to reinvent American agriculture.

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Nicollet South Bike Shop

You may never meet another married couple quite like Gene and Margo Hoffmann. Except for their wedding date – “It’s in 1964, I know that much,” claims Margo – neither know the important dates that most people would have memorized along life’s path, such as the year they began Nicollet South Bike Shop, or the year they purchased their rural Nicollet home, or the years they graduated from Mankato State. Even when pressed about her husband’s age, Margo had to fidget five or six seconds. “Fifty-nine, because he just had a birthday,” she says.

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