The Midwest Cargo Hub Commission and the State of Missouri have announced a new Global Livestock Hub at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri. The first load to utilize the Livestock Export and Inspection Facility (LEIF) took off for Sao Paulo, Brazil, last week.
“This is exciting progress for the state and shows that Missouri’s strong agricultural industry continues to power our economy,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Missouri has long worked to push agricultural technology forward. What we are seeing today is how Missouri innovations and infrastructure are allowing us to market the industry to the world in a new way. We will continue to advocate for Missouri industries as we work to grow our economy and showcase all our state has to offer.”
LEIF is an 18,000 sq. ft. facility designed for shipping livestock. It has a 12,000 sq. ft. adjacent open bay that was utilized to load the partial plane to Brazil. The shipment to Brazil demonstrates an aggressive new strategy for overseas exports from the Missouri airport and is the first of several planned shipments.
“This is a very important step forward in our years-long effort to open a new gateway from Missouri to the global economy,” said Daniel P. Mehan, Chairman of the Midwest Cargo Hub Commission and President and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “This progress leverages Missouri’s logistical strengths and geographic position to create a new economic opportunity in the agri-business sector at a time when we need it most. This is exactly the type of action called for by the Missouri Chamber’s recently released Transportation2030 report. It took years of collaboration by many organizations to get to this point.”
LEIF is the only on-site 24/7 livestock palletizing facility in the United States and is uniquely situated to provide service to livestock exporters. It’s within a few hours of a six-state livestock-rich area of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Missouri has consistently ranked in the top three for number of livestock, and other top-producing states for swine, cattle, goats, and sheep are all just a short drive away.
“I want to thank the St. Louis County Port Authority for their tremendous support in establishing international freight hub incentives at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, and the World Trade Center St. Louis for administering this program to increase air exports,” said Rodney Crim, CEO and President of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and a Commissioner of MCHC. “This initiative will help elevate St. Louis’ role in global commerce.”