The center of the United States. The center of the transportation corridor. The center of agriculture and the livestock industry. Kansas City and surrounding cities, including St. Joseph, make up the Animal Health Corridor, the center of the nation’s animal health and science industry and the world’s single largest concentration of animal health interests. Companies in the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor alone produce almost 32 percent of the world’s $19 billion animal health sales.
From Columbia, Missouri, west to Manhattan, Kansas, and from Lincoln, Nebraska, south to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the animal health corridor encompasses over 220 companies, multiple laboratories, and major educational institutions involved in animal health science and nutrition.
This animal health corridor is what attracts worldwide businesses to come and plant themselves among the cornfields and wheat fields of this area. Paul Hays, the president of Synbiotics Corporation, said that he wanted his company to be in this animal health corridor so that his company would be among the customers that the company serves. The veterinary diagnostics company is located in Kansas City in close proximity to animal pharmaceutical companies and animal disease researchers. Being in the center of the animal health corridor allows companies better contact with customers, better opportunities to take advantage of training facilities, and the newest laboratories fashioned for animal health research and science.
More than 40 of the world’s top leaders in the animal health industry have located their headquarters in this animal health corridor including Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica and Purina-Nestle in St. Joseph and Bayer Health Care Animal Health, CEVA/Biomune, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Intervet/Schering-Plough in other corridor locations.
Besides situating themselves in the agriculturally-rich area among the customers who most rely on them, companies seek to locate here because of the region’s ease of transportation and the excellent educational institutions that offer training and highly-skilled workers in animal health and science. Major railroads travel out from Kansas City to both coasts of the United States. The easily-navigable Missouri River rolls from Nebraska through St. Joseph, Missouri, to Kansas City and east to Columbia. Kansas City also has an international airport located north of Kansas City, only 30 minutes south of St. Joseph.
This corridor is continuously filling with an even greater concentration of animal health facilities. One major current project is a $650 million National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) at Kansas State University. But, communities in this area continue to find more research, educational, training, and business opportunities that forge strategic partnerships with other members in the animal health corridor and entice companies to expand in the area.
St. Joseph, Missouri, is a crucial part of this animal health corridor. Multiple companies provide animal health products. Institutions like Missouri Western State University and the Institute for Industrial and Applied Life Sciences keep advancing research opportunities and graduating researchers and animal health experts. The history of the old stockyards lives on through keeping livestock healthy today, and all creatures from cats to cattle benefit from the work in this animal health corridor.