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Missouri Provides Launching Pad for Agtech Company’s Growth in North America

A few years ago, executives at leading agtech company KWS were looking to make their mark in North America. After exploring several locations, KWS landed in St. Louis, Missouri.

“We realized that St. Louis was actually a really good location for us to be. With the infrastructure here, the community here, and the quality of life our employees would enjoy,” said Derek Bartlem, KWS’ Head of Research U.S.A.

“What really started as more of a European-based company is now slowly becoming a household name in the U.S. Coming here to St. Louis really helped launch this huge opportunity for KWS across North America,” said Rebecca Brattain, Livestock Nutritionist at KWS.

KWS’ biotech research is happening at BRDG Park in St. Louis. But the team is still connected to their colleagues in more than 70 countries.

“We’re collaborating, we’re sharing research. We’re sharing ideas and knowledge,” said Brattain.

Innovation is key for KWS, and the company relies on stellar talent to elevate their products and help them grow.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the diverse workforce we’ve been able to attract and retain in St. Louis,” said Bartlem.

KWS partners with several non-profits in the region, including Family and Workforce Centers of America. That’s how they found Jocelyn Turner, a Research Technician who was born and raised in Missouri, but had never imagined she’d be working in the agtech industry.

“I was able to become an employee to better my career and my life as a whole. I’m very thankful and proud to be a part of this company,” said Jocelyn Turner.

Diversity is extremely important to KWS, and St. Louis provides a great location for employees from near and far.

“I like the fact that it’s a pretty big city with plenty of things to do on the weekends. I also like the community. There are a lot of international people here,” said Aurelie Bak, Research Lead at KWS. Aurelie Bak is originally from France and moved to Missouri to lead a research project for KWS. “It’s a very welcoming city,” said Bak.

Executives at KWS are committed to locating facilities in regions that will provide an outstanding quality of life for their employees. “The fact that you’re not stuck in the car for an hour and a half commuting to work is very important. The cost of living is very reasonable. I see most of our employees enjoying a pretty good quality of life here,” said Bartlem.

“We tend to talk a lot about how it is good for raising families here, but it’s a great place for young single professionals as well,” he added.

KWS received support from local and state leaders when they first arrived in Missouri, and it has proven to be authentic.

“In the ongoing years, we’ve felt very supported here as we’ve continued to grow,” said Bartlem.

Proving that St. Louis, Missouri, is a place where agtech companies come to find talent, resources, support, and a genuine commitment to their success.

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