Bayer HealthCare LLC today celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Animal Health Division’s presence in Shawnee, Kan., and its parent company’s 150th anniversary.
More than 450 employees, community and political leaders and industry partners gathered in Shawnee for a luncheon featuring speakers and an international menu.
"I could think of no better way to mark Bayer’s 150th anniversary, and our own 50 years of animal health history, than by sharing a globally inspired meal with my colleagues,” said Ian Spinks, president and general manager of Bayer HealthCare’s North American Animal Health Division. "It reminds us that we are not only part of something very special here in Shawnee, but also part of a global company dedicated to science for a better life.”
Bayer Animal Health makes about 100 products for companion and farm animals, ranging from Baytril anti-infectives for cats and dogs to Sebacil, which is indicated for the control of mange mites and lice in pigs.
As part of Bayer Corp.’s worldwide celebration, the Bayer Cares Foundation donated nearly $785,000 to 150 volunteer projects.
Trish Wilbur, a senior staff associate for the food animal and equine business unit in Shawnee, received a $6,500 grant in support of the Build a Bed project organized by the nonprofit group Open Door Haiti. Wilbur will travel to Bois De Lance, Haiti, in July to build beds for 32 families.
The Kansas secretary of agriculture, Dale Rodman, spoke at the luncheon.
"Healthy animals are the foundation of a safe, wholesome food supply,” Rodman said. "While Bayer has been a critical partner in Kansas agriculture for the past 50 years, your company’s commitment to excellence and leadership in animal health has benefited the global animal agriculture sector for 150 years.”
Also in attendance were local industry partners such as the Kansas City Area Development Council. Kim Young, the council’s vice president of bioscience development, lauded Bayer’s local commitment.
"Partnering with Bayer to create the Animal Health Corridor in 2007 drove innovation and excellence within the regional community, keeping Kansas City at the center of the animal health industry,” Young said.
Bayer’s yearlong celebration include a traveling exhibition of health care, agriculture and high-performance materials, and the Bayer Anniversary Airship, a blimp scheduled to make stops in cities such as New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg.