In their early days, St. Joseph and Kansas City were cow towns and the stockyards were booming with business. Today, the animal health and nutrition industry still booms in this region known as the KC Animal Health Corridor.
The global animal health and nutrition market is a $19 billion business. The center of this business in America lies only an hour south of St. Joseph. The greater Kansas City area is home to over 70 national or global headquarters for companies in the animal health industry. These industries include animal pharmaceuticals, animal food and nutrition products, research laboratories, technical training institutions, and biotechnology for healthier and productive crops.
This animal health corridor radiates out from Kansas City to St. Joseph and the nearby states of Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska, allowing collaboration and networking between specialized educational facilities and companies. Four of the 10 largest global animal health companies are right here in St. Joseph. St. Joseph residents, companies, and schools benefit from being in the center of this triangle of collaboration, research, and employment opportunities in the animal health industry.
Major global companies like Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and Nestle Purina find St. Joseph a prime spot in this animal health corridor to do their research. Here, they can find some of the most skilled employees for their latest innovations. The nation’s top veterinary schools at Kansas State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia, Iowa State University, and the University of Nebraska- Lincoln are all clustered within this region.
A few hours to the southwest of St. Joseph, Kansas State University has a $650 million National Bio and Agro Defense Facility, a $54 million National Agriculture Biosecurity Center, an Anthropoid – Borne Animal Disease Research Unit, and Center of Excellence for Emerging Zoonotic Diseases. An hour south, the University of Kansas has a $62 million Biomedical Research Facility and a Molecular and Vaccine Stabilization Laboratory. Anchoring the animal health corridor on the east side is the University of Missouri-Columbia. Here, students and faculty have a $60 million Life Sciences Center and a National Swine Resource and Research Center.
With so many new college graduates of the animal health technical training and research facilities in the area, St. Joseph benefits from the most knowledgeable animal health workforce in the country. St. Joseph, also, has its share of education opportunities in the animal health corridor. The Christopher “Kit” Bond Science and Technology Incubator, at Missouri Western State University, offers research labs and business offices for companies in industrial and applied life sciences. Companies and students can collaborate on the latest advances in the field and take these solutions to local companies. Also, Hillyard Technical Center recently announced plans to build an Advanced Science Research Center to help train students to work in the animal health field.
St. Joseph is an integral part of the KC animal health corridor. Multiple companies here in the animal health industry work alongside and with each other. Companies like Agri Laboratories, Bayer, Biozyme, Star Labs, Vedco, and more help further the nation’s study and health product production in this animal health corridor. Trade organizations like the American Angus Association also lend their support, networking, and collaboration.
The greater Kansas City area is the world’s largest concentration of the animal health industry and, as a part of this corridor, St. Joseph brings multiple businesses, skilled workers, and global connections right here to our town.