US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently visited a high school in rural Des Moines, Iowa, USA, telling students that manufacturing jobs are returning to the Midwest, such as those at local manufacturer Kemin Industries, which he also visited.
Vilsack told the students that the high-tech manufacturing jobs of today require math and engineering skills while working to research and develop plant molecules used in the company's production of petfood ingredients and products for animal nutrition.
Less than two years ago, Kemin launched a five-year US$30 million expansion of its Des Moines operations, designed to add six new manufacturing facilities, three new research facilities and a new corporate headquarters building, creating a minimum of 98 jobs at the Kemin campus over that time.
John Greaves, Kemin's vice president of specialty crops, also gave a presentation, reminding students that although consumers may not always think about the food they eat or the petfood they feed their pets, companies like Kemin manufacture the ingredients that ultimately end up in the pet's food.
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
Constraints and crises, like those experienced in 2020, help drive innovation and sustainability offers context.