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Welcome CJ Bio America

By Staff | May 25, 2012

This month 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 took a huge step toward becoming reality.

Ground was broken on May 14 for the $323 million CJ Bio America plant. The facility will use corn starch from the adjacent Cargill ethanol plant to manufacture amino acids to be used in livestock feed. Construction is expected to be finished by early 2014. Once fully operational, the new plant will have a work force of about 170.

The huge investment in Webster County by CJ CheilJedang Corp., a South Korean company that owns CJ Bio America, is its first production plant to be built in the United States.

The decision to locate near Fort Dodge was related in part to the presence of the Cargill plant. Additional factors that helped sell the company on Webster County were the presence of two major, intersecting railroad lines and the educational resources of Iowa Central Community College.

Additionally, last year the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded millions of dollars in financial incentives to CJ Bio America to help persuade company officials that the Hawkeye State is an ideal venue for its operations.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds participated in the groundbreaking ceremonies to reaffirm the state’s commitment to this important economic development project. Branstad and Reynolds have championed this effort from the beginning, as part of a broad-ranging strategy to strengthen Iowa’s economy.

Farm News applauds the arrival of this exciting addition to the region’s corporate assets. City, county and private sector leaders – with a major assist from officials in the state capital – have worked hard over the past few years to get business leaders to recognize our rural Iowa’s potential.

The investment decisions of Valero, Cargill and CJ Bio America have validated the soundness of that vision. Today’s festive event could well be just the first of many similar ceremonies not only in Webster County, but throughout rural Iowa.

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