Gov. Nixon Visits St. Joseph to Discuss $14.1 Billion in Exports

St. Joseph is No. 3 in Missouri in Exports, thanks to companies like BIVI

photoGov. Jay Nixon visited Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, to announce that Missouri export sales reached $14.1 billion in 2014, the second-highest year on record after 2012. Exports of Missouri products were up 9 percent over the previous year.

“This is great news for our economy and another testament to our efforts to sell the Made in Missouri brand worldwide,” Mr. Nixon said. “The world wants what Missouri makes, and there is no better example of how Missouri is competing and winning in the global economy than Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica’s continued expansion right here in the heartland. The more products companies like this one sell overseas, the more jobs they create at home – and that’s why increasing exports will continue to be a top priority.”

Sixty percent of the products manufactured at BIVI in St. Joseph are exported globally, said Dr. Albrecht Kissel, BIVI’s President and CEO. BIVI recently became the fifth largest animal health company in the United States and is the largest swine vaccine producer in the world, most of which is manufactured in St. Joseph.

St. Joseph is the third largest exporter in the state of Missouri, behind St. Louis and Kansas City. Most of the other Missouri communities combined couldn’t match the dollar amount of goods being exported from St. Joseph, said R. Patt Lilly, President and CEO of the St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.

“St. Joseph companies like Boehringer and Triumph Foods are seizing opportunities for growth beyond our own borders and establishing a larger customer base,” Mr. Lilly said. “This activity contributes to our successful business environment.”

Because of increased global demand for its products, BIVI has increased its workforce by almost 500 since 2008 and invested about $173 million since 2009. In 2012, BIVI announced a $79 million expansion that is creating 115 jobs and included construction of a new $28.7 million, 300,000 square foot packaging and distribution warehouse, where Wednesday’s ceremony was held.

“We are very proud to contribute to Missouri’s economic success, especially when it comes to exports, which continue to be an important driver of our growth,” Dr. Kissel said. “With a highly-skilled workforce, sound transportation infrastructure, an outstanding quality of life and a business-friendly climate, Missouri and the Animal Health Corridor provide an ideal location for BIVI to serve a worldwide customer base.”