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Kansas Governor Highlights Feed, Pet Food Projects

Gov. Laura Kelly tells attendees of Kansas Ag Summit about investments in the state

Roy Graber Headshot
Gov. Laura Kelly addresses the Kansas Ag Summit. Photo: Roy Graber
Gov. Laura Kelly addresses the Kansas Ag Summit. Photo: Roy Graber

Future construction projects that will help grow Kansas’ feed and pet food industry took center stage during the Kansas Ag Summit when Gov. Laura Kelly addressed those in attendance.

The governor brought attention to the fact that Kansas is a leader in grain and livestock production, but it is some of the other agrifood sectors to which she wanted to bring even more attention.

She highlighted five projects in particular, three of which will serve the feed and grain industry.

“Just last week, I helped cut the ribbon on the largest wheat protein ingredients facility in North America – the largest in the entire continent. That will open in Phillipsburg. The company, Amber Wave, is making a $300 million investment that will create 60 well-paying jobs,” Kelly said.

Kelly also brought attention to the new Bartlett soybean crushing facility, coming to Montgomery County. The Bartlett plant will be capable of handling approximately 38.5 million bushels of soybeans annually to crush into soybean meal and refined soybean oil, feedstock used in producing renewable fuels, food products and animal feeds.

Another project, which Kelly described as the largest of all, will produce whey, a common feed ingredient.

“Hilmar Cheese Company, a California-based dairy producer, is opening a state-of-the-art cheese and whey manufacturing facility in Dodge City,” Kelly said.

“In the short-term, it will have 260 employees, and represents a $600 million capital investment. In the long-term, its projected to make an additional $550 million investment and create another 750 new jobs within a 50-mile radius of Dodge City.”

Pet food industry expansion

Kelly also highlighted two projects that will help grow the state’s pet food industry.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced last year that it is investing more than $250 million to build a new factory in Tonganoxie to help meet the growing demand for their products,” she said.

“This was followed by last month’s announcement by Simmons Pet Food that it was investing a total of $115 million and creating 177 jobs in Emporia and Edgerton.”

More on the summit

The Kansas Ag Summit, in its seventh year, resumed as a live event after having been a virtual summit during the two previous years because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, hosted by the Kansas Department of Agriculture, was held August 18 in Manhattan, KS.

Numerous breakout sessions focusing on particular agricultural sectors was held during the live event, while some other sectors, such as the pig sector, were highlighted in earlier online session.

Kelly told those in attendance, “Every day I celebrate your accomplishments.”

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