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Elanco to continue proud animal health tradition in Fort Dodge

Pets all over the nation are protected by locally made vaccines

When people all over the United States take their pets to the veterinarian’s office. there’s a pretty good chance they will see a something there with the name Elanco on it.

Thousands of the dogs and cats across the country are protected by vaccines made by Elanco Animal Health in Fort Dodge.

Fort Dodge has a long history as the site where medicines and vaccines for animals are made. That history dates back to the Fort Dodge Serum Co. in the 1920s. More recently, an expansive facility on the city’s northwest side that has both manufacturing and research and development capabilities has been the center of that work.

The plant was built more than 50 years ago by Fort Dodge Laboratories. Some longtime residents may still refer to the site as ‘the Labs.” The company’s name was later changed to Fort Dodge Animal Health.

The site was later owned by Pfizer Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Elanco purchased the site from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica in 2017.

Fort Dodge area residents should be pleased and proud to know that the tradition of making vital medicines and vaccines for animals will continue.

Leaders of Elanco Animal Health have reaffirmed their commitment to the Fort Dodge facility following the company’s recent acquisition of Bayer’s animal health business. That purchase prompted a thorough review of all the company’s plants and three of them were sold. But those executives found the Fort Dodge facility to be worth keeping.

They committed to keeping the 441 jobs currently at the plant. But they went further, and pledged to create 26 additional jobs while investing $106 million there over the next six years.

Let that sink in a minute. The plant stays, its workforce will grow to about 467 people and a $106 million investment will make it even more state-of-the-art.

To make certain all that happens, the state, city, county and Iowa Central Community College are putting together an incentive package. It includes tax breaks, grants and other direct financing, reduced water and sewer bills and job training.

Webster County Supervisor Mark Campbell said the incentive package is ”an amazing example of what we can do when we get all the right people in the room working together.”

Meanwhile, pet owners and farmers continue to rely on Elanco Animal Health products made in Fort Dodge. That is a fine thing for a community to be known for.

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