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Senators introduce resolution to bolster Kansas animal health economy

Recognizing the high number of animal health and nutrition businesses and educational and research assets available in the Kansas City area, U.S. Senators Sam Brownback, R-KS, Pat Roberts, R-KS, Kit Bond, R-MO, Claire McCaskill, D-MO, June 9 introduced a resolution to bolster jobs by designating the region from Manhattan, Kansas to Columbia, Missouri as the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.

"This resolution only states what the people and businesses within the Animal Health Corridor already know: that Kansas City and the surrounding areas from Manhattan to Columbia has the highest concentration of animal health technology and jobs anywhere in the world," Senator Brownback said, "I applaud the local leaders in these communities for recognizing the advantages this designation provides and seeking to build off the foundation already established. This will create jobs and economic opportunity for this region for years to come."

"This designation provides an opportunity to focus greater federal, state and local resources on further development of our critical animal health research community--already a powerhouse in our regional economy," Senator Roberts said. "We will look forward to enhancing this success by improving transportation, safety, education and research infrastructure in support of this industry."

"This resolution would recognize the Kansas City region's long-time leadership in animal health. The innovative work done right here in the Heartland provides high-paying jobs and critical contributions to global animal health and nutrition," said Senator Kit Bond. "This is a much deserved designation that will help the region continue to be the nation's leader in this industry, attract new businesses, and create jobs."

"It's about time we recognized the important contribution that this region is making to the animal health industry," Senator McCaskill said. "Over one third of the growing industry is located here in the heartland and this designation will help to give the local economy a boost by attracting even more jobs and businesses in this important field."

The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor designation will grow the animal health and nutrition industry and in turn benefit the economy, universities, businesses, and youth pursuing animal health careers. The Senators stressed that this designation will attract new companies, create more jobs and take advantage of the wealth of resources available in the area.

Currently, more than 120 animal health companies, and about 34 percent of the animal health industry sales worldwide, are based in the Kansas City region. More than 45 percent of the fed cattle in the United States, 40 percent of the hogs produced, and 20 percent of the nation's beef cows and calves are located within 350 miles of Kansas City.

With the animal health industry continuing to grow in the Kansas City region, the Department of Homeland Security recently selected Manhattan, Kansas as the future location for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility. The NBAF will provide area economic development opportunities by employing 300 people, with an annual payroll of up to $30 million and over 1,500 construction jobs.

In addition to the Bio and Agro-defense Facility, several leading veterinary colleges and animal research centers are located in Kansas and Missouri including the College of Veterinary Medicine, the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources' Division of Animal Sciences, the Life Sciences Center, the National Swine Resource and Research Center, and the Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory of the University of Missouri, and the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Biosecurity Research Institute of Kansas State University that contribute to the animal health industry in the area.

This resolution received bi-partisan support in the House of Representatives. Rep. Dennis Moore, D-KS, introduced the resolution and Reps. Lynn Jenkins, R-KS, Jerry Moran, R-KS, Emanuel Cleaver, D-MO, Sam Graves, R-MO, and Ike Skelton, D-MO, co-sponsored the House bill.



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