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Greater Wichita hosts value-added agriculture operations from R&D to production to enterprise management

Agri-related facilities benefit from a supportive business environment, production-oriented workforce, ready rail and highway access for both feedstocks and product distribution, and reliable competitively-priced utilities.

The two largest privately-held companies in the United States, Koch Industries and Cargill, are heavily invested in value-added agriculture – and both have headquarters facilities in Wichita. Cargill has both a world-class food research and development facility (60 employees), an oilseeds production facility (80 employees) and a new $70 million headquarters for their protein division.

Regional value-added agriculture operations include:

Koch Industries – 3,285 local employees
With 120,000 employees worldwide – and global headquarters in Wichita – Koch is a highly diversified conglomerate with interests in refining, pollution control equipment, minerals, fibers, commodity trading, cattle, and forest and consumer products. Koch Fertilizer is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of agricultural fertilizers.

Cargill Protein Group – 840 local employees
Cargill has 150,000 employees worldwide. This major subsidiary is headquartered in downtown Wichita. Cargill Meat Solutions is a leading processor and distributor of beef, pork and poultry products for both the retail and food service markets. In July 2011, Cargill opened its 75,000 square foot Cargill Innovation Center in downtown Wichita. This $14.7 million investment is one of the world’s most advanced food innovation facilities, with research and development labs, food safety labs, culinary facilities, pilot plant and distribution capabilities – all focused on helping Cargill’s retail and food service customers grow their businesses by meeting the needs of domestic and international consumers of meat products.

AGCO Corp. (Hesston) – 1,200 employees
Located in Hesston – 35 miles north of Wichita – AGCO is a leading manufacturer of farm machinery such as balers, combines, swathers and planters.

Farmland Foods – 500 employees
Farmland operates a Wichita meat processing plant (pork.)

Dold Foods (Hormel Subsidiary) – 275 employees (Expanding to 660)
Dold operates a Wichita packaged meat products plant. In July 2017 it was announced that the plant will undergo a $50 million, 156,000 sq. foot expansion and employment will grow by 385 employees. The company also intends to invest $82 million in new equipment over the next five years, bringing total investment to $132 million.

ICM – 330 employees
Headquartered in Colwich – 20 miles northwest of Wichita – ICM is a global provider of proprietary bioethanol production equipment. ICM builds all types of biofuel plants from the ground up.

Hiland Dairy Foods - 160 employees
Hiland's Wichita facility produces cottage cheese, yogurt and fluid milk.

Grain Craft - 50 employees
Wichita facility mills wheat into bakery flour.

POET Ethanol Products - 135 employees
Headquartered in Wichita, POET has been a leader in bioethanol marketing, transportation and logistics since 2000. POET handles two billion gallons of annual ethanol production from partner facilities located across the Midwest. POET also markets carbon dioxide produced during bioethanol manufacturing.

ELEMENT LLC – Colwich Plant – 40 employees
The Andersons and ICM have partnered to create ELEMENT LLC, a joint venture that is constructing a 70 million gallon-per-year ethanol bio-refinery in Colwich. Construction will be completed in 2019.

State and regional organizations supporting value-added agriculture include:

Agri-Business Council of Wichita formed in 2005 to facilitate growth of the regional food, fiber and agri-science industries. ABCW identifies emerging issues and opportunities – and strengthens communication among agribusiness professionals. ABCW has grown to encompass over 80 businesses, associations and individual members.

Ag 1 Source – With corporate headquarters in Hesston – 35 miles north of Wichita – Ag 1 Source specializes in personnel recruitment to meet specialized talent needs of ag-related businesses. Ag 1 Source also offers a spectrum of human resource solutions designed for agribusiness.

Kansas Global Trade Services – Wichita-based Kansas Global assists international marketing efforts of agri-producers, agri-equipment manufacturers and agri-service providers. Kansas Global offers global market research, translation and interpretation services, assistance with compliance issues and risk management, international credit and payments, etc.

BioKansas – Trade association representing agricultural biotechnology and other biosciences in Kansas. BioKansas is an affiliate of BIO – the world’s largest biotech trade association. BioKansas works to attract, retain and develop bioscience talent, companies and funding. BioKansas offers supply discounts with BIO national providers – as well as networking and marketing opportunities.

Renew Kansas promotes bioethanol manufacturing across Kansas.