In St. Joseph’s early years, when its stockyards were booming, it was second only to Chicago in the meat packing industry. While some cities look back on their stockyard days as an era gone by, the people of St. Joseph can proudly say it is still a leader in the nation in the animal health and life sciences industry.
Situated in the center of the renowned KC Animal Health Corridor, St. Joseph’s animal health and life sciences businesses and training facilities share the immense resources and pioneering discoveries of the experts, companies, educators, and research facilities in their midst. Between Kansas State University in Manhattan and the University of Columbia in Missouri are multiple dimensions of the animal health and life sciences field including facilities for research and development, animal pharmaceuticals, health care, food production, and agricultural chemical and seed production. This multi-billion dollar industry is intensely expanding all throughout the corridor and St. Joseph is both benefiting from it and leading part of that expansion.
St. Joseph has already proven itself a leader in the animal health and life sciences industry through the multiple businesses that have chosen the city as the perfect destination to be located. Companies like Nestle Purina and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. chose to have research headquarters located in St. Joseph because of its advantageous position in the head of this innovative corridor. St. Joseph is also the headquarters of the U.S. Animal Health Association and the American Angus Association. Other companies like Star Labs, Biozyme, Ameri-Pac, Vedco, Clipper Distributing, Protein Inc, and Bayer Healthcare LLC fill the city with more than 4,500 employees in the animal health and life sciences industry.
To keep these companies growing and expanding successfully, innovative research laboratories and facilities must help them along. Within this KC corridor are eight technology incubators stationed to help new bioscience companies get off the ground successfully, including the Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator which is located on the campus of St. Joseph’s Missouri Western State University. The business and educational opportunities through the Kit Bond Incubator only promise that companies will continually have a place to research and grow and keep building the animal health and life sciences industry in and around St. Joseph.
Many of these businesses are currently planning expansions into the next few years. While Kansas City and St. Joseph together employ almost half of the nation’s veterinary pharmaceutical jobs, those numbers will keep climbing as Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica begins another expansion of their facility in St. Joseph. Dr. Joachim Hasenmeier said that the company’s $100 million expansion investment is the best they’ve made in the past 10 years. Plans to begin constructing a new 150-acre Agri-Business Expo Center are also currently in the works and include plans for a combined Exhibition, Life Science, and Commercial Park.
St. Joseph’s leadership in the animal health and life sciences industry is not stuck in the past. Through perfect location among the nation’s other leaders of animal health and life sciences, St. Joseph will continually attract new companies, new students, and new skilled employees to this innovative corridor.