By DOUG SCHMITZ
COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — Helena Industries, LLC, last month broke ground on a 103,550 square foot chemical formulation and packaging facility at its manufacturing plant in Des Moines, Iowa, which company officials said will bring up to 50 new jobs to the area when completed.
“Helena Industries has experienced an exciting level of growth in recent years, thanks to the support of our customers, our owner, state and local leaders, and the dedication of our hardworking employees,” said Philip Berryman, president and CEO of Helena Industries.
Headquartered in Collierville, Tenn., Helena Industries is a contracted provider of supply chain solutions, including warehousing, formulation and packaging services for the agriculture, lawn and garden, industrial chemical, and commercial application industries.
Currently, Helena Industries is one of the largest chemical toll manufacturers in the United States, with manufacturing sites in Arkansas, California, Georgia and Iowa.
The new facility is multi-million-dollar development project, which will be built in multi-phases, which will include the construction of two manufacturing plants and one warehouse.
“We’re proud to share our growth with the community by making a significant investment at the Des Moines site,” Berryman said. “This expansion will give us the opportunity to improve our manufacturing capabilities and deliver even greater value to our customers.”
In July, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Board awarded up to $1.12 million in tax credits in support of the project, which the IEDA said will generate $47 million in capital investment.
“It is exciting to see long-standing legacy companies, like Helena Industries, continue to invest in new technologies,” Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority, told FarmWorld.
“Iowa is the perfect location for their expansion, given our state’s expertise and dominance in both agriculture and advanced manufacturing,” she added.
Berryman said Helena Industries has been operating a manufacturing plant since 1989.
“In the past six years, we have made two additional land purchases adjacent to the original site,” Berryman told FarmWorld. “These additions made the site a total of 97 acres. Des Moines is geographically located in a great position for manufacturing products that are primarily used in the Midwestern farming belt.
“We have an experienced, talented management team and dedicated employees in our Des Moines site,” he added. “On this foundation of our existing plant team, we are confident that we will have great success in adding additional professional positions and production positions in Des Moines. The Des Moines area is a great place for people to live and the general workforce includes many people with the values that align well with Helena Industries’ core values.”
The start of construction is another huge step forward in the strategic relationship between Helena Industries and Corteva Agriscience in Wilmington, Del., which has committed a large volume of its liquid herbicide formulation and packaging business to Helena Industries at the Des Moines facility.
Berryman said Helena Industries’ manufacturing and supply chain solutions, combined with Corteva’s advanced crop protection technology, would produce the highest quality agricultural products safely and efficiently.
“By utilizing our expertise in manufacturing and supply chain management services, our customers like Corteva Agriscience can invest more time and resources in product development and supporting farming communities around the world,” he said. “Our largest obligation is to the farmers that purchase and use the products we produce with our partners.”
Berryman told FarmWorld that Corteva will work with Helena Industries’ internal engineering team on some of the technology used to produce products.
“Helena Industries will solely be responsible for the operation of the facility,” he said. “Corteva has high standards and specifications for production that Helena Industries will ensure are met. Their expectations go well beyond ensuring a high quality standard for products produced.
“We must be excellent in environmental stewardship, and operate with high ethical standards of being great corporate citizens,” he added. “These values are extremely important to both companies. We feel that is one main reason why Corteva and Helena Industries find tremendous value in working together to utilize each companies’ strengths for optimum performance.”
Construction on the Helena Industries’ Des Moines expansion is currently underway, and production in the new facility is expected to begin in late 2020.