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Welcome CJ Cheiljeding

By Staff | Oct 28, 2011

The dream of turning the area of Webster County, just west of Fort Dodge, into a major hub for manufacturing enterprises with an agricultural focus, is beginning to look less and less like a visionary goal and more and more like tomorrow’s reality.

If all goes as hoped, by April 2012, a $323 million plant that manufactures amino acid will be under construction in the North Central Ag Industrial Park. It could be in production by December 2013. Approximately 180 long-term jobs are among the benefits this major manufacturing facility would bring to north central Iowa. Additionally, the construction phase will generate welcome business opportunities for local contractors.

This huge investment in Webster County, by CJ Cheiljedang Corp., a South Korean company, that operates in the United States as CJ America, is the company’s first production plant to be built in this country. The core businesses internationally of CJ Cheiljedang are food and food services, bio pharma, entertainment media and home shopping. The headquarters for CJ America is Downers Grove, Ill.

The decision to locate in Webster County was related to the presence of the Cargill plant. CJ Cheiljedang’s facility would use some of the byproducts generated by Cargill. Additional factors that helped sell the company on the area near Fort Dodge were the presence of two major, intersecting railroad lines and the educational resources of Iowa Central Community College. The Iowa Economic Development Authority Board approved, on Oct. 20, a package of incentives that also helped finalize the company’s commitment to Webster County.

Farm News welcomes the arrival of this exciting addition to rural Iowa’s corporate assets. City, county and private sector leaders have worked hard over the past few years to get corporate leaders to recognize Webster County’s potential to become a key center for a diverse mix of agribusinesses. The investment decisions of Valero, Cargill and now CJ Cheiljedang Corp. have validated the soundness of that vision. If we keep faith with that game plan, this giant step forward could well be just the beginning.

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