TOPEKA, KS — On June 18, Hill's Pet Nutrition announced their intent to invest more than $250 million to build a new factory in Leavenworth County in their home state of Kansas to help meet the growing demand for their #1 vet-recommended Hill's pet nutrition.
"Hill's Pet Nutrition's decision to invest $250 million in Kansas and bring 80 new jobs to Tonganoxie is further proof that Kansas' Animal Health Corridor can out-compete any region in the world for these industry investments and jobs," Governor Laura Kelly said. "With our central location, talented workforce and reputation as a global leader in animal health and science, our partnership with Hill's is a no-brainer."
"Hill's Pet Nutrition is excited to be growing our roots in Kansas. We've been part of the community for almost 80 years and this new facility will help us to meet our mission of enriching and lengthening the special relationships between people and their pets by providing our high quality nutrition," said Jesper Nordengaard, President of Hill's Pet Nutrition, a division of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.
Working in close partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Leavenworth County Development Corporation, the City of Tonganoxie, Evergy, and Kansas Gas Service, Hill's chose the site for its excellent location, access to a talented and diverse pool of workers, a strong and welcoming community and proximity to distributors and suppliers.
"This looks like a fantastic smart-growth project for our community," said David Frese, mayor of Tonganoxie. "It checks a bunch of the right boxes. A Kansas company; an environmentally up-to-date facility; a manageable influx of new neighbors; great jobs that pay well; high-tech opportunities for our young people; the possibility of attracting more business to Tonganoxie; and a boon to the city's economy."
"We are thrilled to welcome a quality company like Hill's Pet Nutrition to Tonganoxie. This project will represent the largest capital investment ever made by a manufacturer in Leavenworth County. We'd like to recognize the vision and investment the city and county made in building the business park to allow us to take advantage of such a great opportunity," said Steve Jack, Executive Director, Leavenworth County Development Corporation.
The new state-of-the-art facility will be built on 80 acres in Tonganoxie Business Park in Tonganoxie, KS and will help Hill's Pet Nutrition meet the increasing demand for science-led pet nutrition. The new, innovative factory will feature the latest manufacturing technology and is expected to employ at least 80 people by 2025. The Tonganoxie City Council is scheduled to review the development agreement outlining the project at its meeting June 21. Once all approvals are granted, construction is expected to begin later this year and be completed by 2023.
"We are grateful for the partnership with the state of Kansas, the Leavenworth County Development Corporation and the City of Tonganoxie to create this opportunity," added Nicki Baty, Vice President and General Manager, US Hill's Pet Nutrition.
The Tonganoxie plant will join four other Hill's manufacturing sites in the United States, including facilities in Emporia and Topeka in Kansas. Topeka is also home to Hill's global headquarters and its Pet Nutrition Center -- recently expanded to include a new Small Paws facility to develop products for small dog breeds. "The new Tonganoxie facility will be built with the highest quality and food safety standards as well as the latest technology," said Jose Borrell, VP of Global Supply Chain, Hill's Pet Nutrition.
Hill's Pet Nutrition is committed to minimizing its environmental footprint, replenishing natural resources and leading the industry in more ethical, responsible practices. As with all of its manufacturing facilities, the Company plans to certify the Tonganoxie factory under the Total Resource Use and Efficiency (TRUE®) program for zero waste.
"We will design our newest facility with sustainability at the forefront of our design. We plan to maximize our water and energy efficiency as well as continuing our commitment to be LEED Certified," said Bart Fisher, Director of Supply, Hill's Pet Nutrition.
"Kansas' expertise and prime location for animal health leaders is undeniable, and this planned investment from Hill's is proof," Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. "Thank you to Hill's for continuing to set the standard for Kansas animal health and pet food manufacturing. Our partnership with Hill's is a source of pride for our state, and I'm so proud to see that partnership continue to grow even stronger."