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Governor Laura Kelly Recognizes Kansas Business for Winning National Economic Development Award

Feb 24, 2022

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~Hill’s Pet Nutrition Recognized for Deal of the Year Impact Award~

TONGANOXIE – Governor Laura Kelly today applauded Hill’s Pet Nutrition and the Kansas Department of Commerce for being nationally recognized with a Business Facilities 2021 Deal of the Year Impact Award. The award received is in the Specialty Manufacturing category for Hill’s expansion and investment in Tonganoxie.   

“Hill’s Pet Nutrition continues to be a game-changer in helping grow the Animal Health Corridor and bringing new jobs, new investment, and new expertise to our state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This impressive recognition is further proof of the significance of Hill’s presence and its impact throughout Kansas.”   

Business Facilities announced Impact Awards in 14 categories as part of its Economic Deal of the Year Awards. These honors recognize both economic development organizations for their efforts to secure private investment in their state and the company for the impact on the local community through investment.

Business Facilities is a nationally recognized resource that provides comprehensive project location information to corporate site selectors and economic development professionals.  

In June of 2021, Hill’s Pet Nutrition announced plans to build a new, sustainably designed wet pet food manufacturing plant at the Tonganoxie Business Park, investing more than $325 million in the 300,000-square-foot facility. This project will bring at least 80 new jobs to the community by 2025, making them one of the largest employers in Tonganoxie. Hill’s was one of 321 projects and nearly $3.8 billion in planned capital investment statewide that made 2021 the most successful business year in Kansas history.  

The Animal Health Corridor is currently the single largest concentration of animal health interests in the world and is home to more than 300 companies conducting research and producing veterinary pharmaceuticals, specialized food for livestock and pets and much more.  

“The impact this state-of-the-art pet food processing plant will have on the community of Tonganoxie is monumental, and I’m pleased to see this win for Kansas and this Kansas-based company,” Lieutenant Governor/Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “I’m proud of the partnership and coordination between my team, Hill’s, and the Leavenworth County Development Corporation to land this Deal of the Year Impact Award. I especially want to thank recently-retired Leavenworth County Development Corporation President Steve Jack, whose expertise and dedication made this project possible for Leavenworth County.”  

Commerce partnered with the Leavenworth County Development Corporation (LCDC) and the City of Tonganoxie on the project. The LCDC coordinated communication among the utilities and other local partners, and Tonganoxie provided local incentives and major infrastructure improvements to accommodate the project. Tonganoxie was selected based on the location’s industrial park, strong community partnerships, workforce strengths, and proximity to distribution requirements for the facility.  

“Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s decision to build its new facility in Tonganoxie is great news,” Josh Hoppes, President of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation, said. “This project will be the largest capital investment ever made by a manufacturer in Leavenworth County. We are pleased to have partnered with the Kansas Department of Commerce and the City of Tonganoxie in locating this state-of-the-art facility to our area.” 

A committee of nationally recognized site consultants selected this year’s winners from a record-setting number of submissions.