Agriculture and Animals at Heart of Missouri-Australia Relationship

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by Nina Geller

Australia has significant business interests in Missouri, especially when it comes to agriculture and veterinary science. Thanks to Missouri’s strong background in these fields, Australian animal health company Integrated Animal Health Inc. announced this past February that Kansas City, Missouri will become their official North American headquarters. This location is in line with the area’s Animal Health Corridor, which spans from Manhattan, Kansas to Columbia, Missouri and is home to over 300 animal health companies. Additionally, Integrated Animal Health Inc. announced in March 2015 that it has signed a ten-year partnership agreement with Northwest Missouri State University’s Dean L. Hubbard Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This agreement gives students the opportunity to apply their studies and gain insight from hands-on training in the agricultural field.

Australian veterinary company Jurox Pty Ltd. Also announced last year that its North American headquarters will be located in Kansas City, Missouri. The $741,000 investment would create 13 new jobs. After completing this office, Jurox plans to open up more satellite offices throughout the country.

Another Australian animal-sciences firm, AgBiTech, opened its North American office in Columbia, Missouri in 2013. Working out of the University of Missouri’s Life Sciences Business Incubator, AgBiTech specializes in harvesting viruses in the field and using them as a means of creating natural pesticides. Because traditional pesticides can harm insects’ natural enemies, using a virus provides a safer alternative that can be targeted to a specific species. AgBiTech hopes to manufacture these viruses from its US headquarters and expand to markets throughout the country, as well as abroad to Latin America and Europe.

Recognizing Missouri’s expertise and existing infrastructure to support research on these important issues, Australia has identified the Show Me State as an important partner going forward.

Nina Geller is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington and a recent graduate of the Monterey Institute of International Studies.