The economy in Webster County is beginning to boom.
That's thanks in large part to the decision of local governmental, business and community leaders to create a state-of-the-art ag park west of Fort Dodge - Iowa's Crossroads of Global Innovation.
Decision makers at two giant companies - Cargill and CJ CheilJedang - recognized that the business advantages the ag park affords when combined with other assets Webster County and Fort Dodge possess were powerful reasons to invest here. Consequently, each now has a major plant in operation in the rapidly evolving Crossroads of Global Innovation venue.
CJ CheilJedang, doing business here as CJ Bio America, and the Cargill plant are poised to help boost the local economy both directly and indirectly.
These two plants represent more than a $600 million capital investment in Webster County. Hundreds of permanent jobs are being created. Beyond that, however, the existence of these plants at the ag park will make that locale even more attractive to additional corporate investors both large and small.
The benefits of adding these major corporations to the business mix locally can hardly be overstated.
Cargill is a huge enterprise - the largest private company in the U.S. - with 143,000 employees in 67 countries and $136.7 billion in sales and other revenues. The company's major investment in Webster County makes our county an important factor in Cargill's strategy for future business success.
Since the 1950s, CJ CheilJedang has become a major corporate player in Korea. The plant it has built here is an integral part of its game plan for expansion in North America. The local plant - a $323 million investment - is the company's first production facility in the United States. That puts Webster County at the forefront of the company's growth plans on this continent. The Fort Dodge CJ Bio America facility is the largest lysine plant in the world.
It's additional good news that not only are these companies thriving enterprises, but also both have already shown themselves to be truly committed to being exemplary corporate citizens. That makes them especially welcome additions to the local business community.
Today's edition of The Messenger includes a special section celebrating the arrival of these two vibrant companies in our community. A great deal of information about Cargill and CJ Bio America has been assembled. Readers will have the opportunity to become familiar with two corporations that are destined to be a major part of our region's future.