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Bayer Animal Health Works Worldwide from Shawnee

Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG based in Leverkusen, Germany, is one of the world’s leading innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry. The company’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. With its North American headquarters in Shawnee, Kansas, the operation for Bayer Animal Health is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of veterinary drugs with sales of nearly $1.3 billion in 2008. The division manufactures and markets approximately 100 different veterinary drugs and care products for dogs, cats and horses.

A company of this magnitude is typically located in New York City or Los Angeles. Instead, Bayer decided to locate its North American headquarters facility in Shawnee, Kansas, in the Kansas City metropolitan area. This was a strategic move on many levels. “Bayer HealthCare has great respect for the location in Shawnee, Kansas,” said Bob Walker, Director of Communications for Bayer HealthCare’s Animal Health Division. “This location is seen as a world-class manufacturing site for both animal and human health pharmaceuticals and also as a relevant distribution center in North America thanks to the strategic location in the center of the United States, bringing us closer to our customers on either coast,” said Mr. Walker. “The Central Time zone in Kansas gives Bayer a larger window of opportunity to speak directly to our customers on both coasts, plus transportation costs are remarkably lower,” he said.

While Bayer HealthCare has been in Shawnee since 1963, the current site was a consolidation effort of several facilities throughout the region that began in 2001. “We are in Shawnee as a headquarters facility because of the tremendous partnership between our organization and the City of Shawnee,” said Walker. “The City of Shawnee helped us work through many delicate construction issues and made our expansion and renovation into the current site seamless,” said Walker.
“We also have an excellent partnership with the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce and the Shawnee Economic Development Council,” said Walker. Walker sites networking opportunities and the Shawnee Tomorrow leadership program as direct benefits for his company. “The experience and opportunities we get from the Chamber help our employees better themselves, and therefore help our company,” he said. Walker has also served as a board member for the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce for 5 years, volunteering his time in his already busy schedule is a way to give back to the Shawnee community. “We have a dual partnership with these great organizations and certainly a dual benefit,” he said.

Mr. Walker has lived in Shawnee for 6 years, where before the east coast was his home. When asked if relocating to Shawnee caused any heartache for him, his family, or the employees of Bayer that chose to come to this location, Walker reflects with a smile. “The Kansas City metropolitan area is definitely a well-kept secret. But once people see Johnson County living and its tremendous quality of life, beautiful typography, great schools and vast recreation opportunities – they’re hooked!”
Bayer Animal Health is part of the Animal Health Corridor located in the Greater Kansas City area. KC area companies account for nearly 32% of total sales in the $19 billion global animal health market. For more information on Bayer Animal Health, visit their website here. For information on the KC Animal Health Corridor, visit their website here. For information on Shawnee, contact the EDC at 913.631.6545.


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