Agricultural Sciences Business Cluster

“One important aspect of this concentration of firms is the set of linkages among them. This cluster, in part, has grown because of the evolution and spin-off of firms, their suppliers and customers.” Hammer, Siler, George and Associates


No. 1 Agricultural Sciences Engine in the Midwest = St. Joseph

What does the view from the top look like? Synergy, innovation and progress.

  • St. Joseph offers agricultural sciences strength, receiving a No. 4 ranking by location quotient for agricultural sciences industry, as compared to all 324 U.S. metropolitan areas.*
  • In regard to both the concentration of agricultural science and life science employment, St. Joseph ranks among the top 10 areas in the country.
  • Among a four-state region of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska – the regional market for ag science firms – St. Joseph dominates in terms of ag science resources and businesses.
  • In St. Joseph, the largest numbers of workers are employed in the veterinary pharmaceutical preparation industry, agricultural chemicals and blood derivatives. This contributes to a total of 3,200 employees in the degreed ag sciences industry and another 3,000 employed in general life sciences.

*ranking by location quotient for the ag sciences industry according to the Hammer, Siler, George Associates 2003 study


St. Joseph – The Center of the Agricultural Research Triangle
Located only 35 minutes north of Kansas City International Airport, St. Joseph is situated in the middle of the Midwest’s Higher Education Research Triangle. Recently, academic, government and local business partners have created a Midwestern economic engine centered around advancements in agricultural science, building upon the city’s rich agricultural history and calling together the region’s best minds.

Regionally, St. Joseph is a close partner with the Kansas City life sciences sector, prompting Bill Duncan, Kansas City Life Sciences Institute former president, to speak about the collaborative energy between the two closely-situated metropolitan areas. “From a regional perspective, St. Joseph is an important part of our animal and life science endeavors. We have an ongoing dialogue with St. Joseph leaders,” says Duncan in a cj Midwest Special Section report on St. Joseph called “Seeding for Success.”


St. Joseph Remains a Leader in Research, Production, Packaging, Distribution
More than 1,600 people are employed in St. Joseph specifically in the animal nutrition and animal health industries, across the gamut of research, production, packaging and distribution. This is a natural outgrowth of a city that in the late 1800s boasted one the nation’s most booming livestock production areas, processing more than 1 million head of cattle daily. Read more about this synergy and how it has found a robust research environment in the $2.5 million Christopher S. “Kit” Bond Science and Technology Incubator, part of the Innovation Stockyard in St. Joseph.


Top agricultural sciences employers in St. Joseph include:

Becker Underwood
As a leading-edge developer of biological and specialty products, Becker Underwood is a global producer of seed colorants and polymers, inoculants, beneficial nematodes, and a wide range of agricultural and horticultural solutions. The St. Joseph location manufactures bioagronomic products that are purchased by major agricultural distributors. The work performed in St. Joseph can be used as inoculums in many parts of the world related to the global food supply.


Founded in St. Joseph in 1945, Omnium manufactures agricultural herbicides and agricultural chemicals for commercial use and has completed expansions in St. Joseph, reflecting the industry’s growth. It is a Land O’Lakes company that manufactures bioscience agricultural chemicals.


Founded in St. Joseph in 1983, Albaugh manufacturers herbicides for both commercial and residential use. The company completed a $2.3 million expansion in St. Joseph within the last decade, adding several new skilled positions.


Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.
Founded in St. Joseph in 1917 as Anchor Serum, the company now ranks among the top animal health product manufacturers in the United States and is part of the BIVI global animal health business. The company’s Vetmedica St. Joseph location has advanced research and development facilities, as well as manufacturing. BIVI recently completed a $150,000,000 expansion plan.


HPI is a top innovator in chemical formulation, process and product development for the private label and industrial markets. HPI serves customers throughout the nation from its more than 500,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space in St. Joseph, Mo., and Damascus, Ga. The company chose St. Joseph for a manufacturing site because the facility is easily accessible by interstate highways and major railroads. St. Joseph provides HPI customers with affordable, fast and dependable transportation to the nation’s largest market areas.


Agri-Laboratories, LTD
This national distributor of animal healthcare products was established in St. Joseph in 1985 to distribute products for animal pharmaceutical companies in the dynamic animal health region. Warehouse expansions continue to demonstrate St. Joseph’s leadership in the industry.


Ag Processing Inc. (AGP)
Ag Processing Inc (AGP), is a multi-faceted agribusiness engaged in the procurement, processing, marketing, and transportation of grains and grain products. Products are used for livestock feed, renewable fuels and human consumption. AGP is 184 local cooperatives representing more than 250,000 farmers throughout the Midwest, and five regional cooperatives representing farmers throughout the United States and Canada. St. Joseph is home to a major AGP processing plant.