OSAGE, Iowa – A north Iowa community is now home to a $146 million manufacturing facility, and Friday was the grand opening, with a few high-profile guests on hand.
It’s been years in the making. The Valent BioSciences Manufacturing Facility held it’s grand opening with a ceremonial ribbon cutting and planting of a tree.
The biorational facility in Osage will produce bio-pesticides to help control pests.
“When you talk about sustainability, instead of using a barrel of oil we’re using just a natural inoculum that produces the product,” explains Ted Melnik, the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Valent BioSciences Corp.
Melnik says that this facility will use fermented naturally occurring micro-organisms, instead of chemicals in their products.
“We’re very excited about this, these are really good, quality jobs, they’re in the area of STEM,” on hand to help kick off the celebration was Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.
Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds toured the facility and are excited about the impact this facility will have on the state.
“It helps the entire area because they draw in employees from around the area and we’re seeing a lot of other companies also choosing to locate here in Iowa,” says Branstad.
“What I love about it is it’s an opportunity not only to make sure our kids have the education they need but we’re going to have jobs right here in Iowa,” Reynolds adds.
This plant is the largest of its kind in the world. They supply products to 95 countries around the world, and have no plans to slow down.
“We’re growing, this is a fast growth business so as the business grows there will eventually be the need for more expansions, more workforce here so I think it’s just the start,” adds Melnik.
The facility will bring 89 new jobs to the area once it’s up and running. Right now Valent has hired 60 full-time employees. The company is planning to fill the rest of the positions in the coming weeks.