Country music star Kix Brooks (of duo Brooks & Dunn) inspired almost 800 members of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor (KCAHC) on Monday night at KCAHC’s Homecoming Hoedown.
Aside from singing a couple of his hit songs, Brooks talked about his own admiration of the animal health industry as he is also a cattleman and cutting-horse enthusiast who uses many animal health products for his animals.
Craig Wallace, CEO of Ceva Animal Health and chair of the KCAHC advisory board, hosted the event and described the contributions of Kansas City’s early days of stockyard cattle in the 1870s as driving the need for and expansion of the early animal health industry. “The stockyards prompted the need for vaccines and animal health products to protect the nation’s food supply,” Wallace said.
The KCAHC represents one-third of the global animal health assets within a 300-mile area that stretches from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary medicine, and counts over 220 animal health and related companies (and 20,000 employees of those companies) as members.
Because the animal health industry was essentially born in Kansas City and is highly concentrated there, KCAHC deems this annual event its Homecoming, paying homage to the livestock industry by holding it at the home of the American Royal, one of the oldest livestock shows and rodeos, in the old Stockyards District.
Wallace discussed one important topic to the Corridor – the National Bio and AgroDefense Facility slated for Manhattan, Kan., but which has been mired delays and legislation. “This is one of our strategic priorities for 2013-2016,” he said. “It’s an important asset to companies located here, and its presence will ensure the protection of national security for years to come.”
Also at the Homecoming event George Heidgerken, senior vice president, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, was honored with the Kansas City Animal Health 2012 Iron Paw Award.