RUSHVILLE — With the sound of heavy construction equipment moving soil in the background, Rushville and Rush County officially hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for Diamond Pet Foods production center Wednesday.

Rush County ECDC Executive Director John McCane welcomed those in attendance to the “official” groundbreaking, although workers have already been moving ground at the site prior to Wednesday. After McCane’s opening remarks, he turned the microphone over to Diamond Pet Foods Executive Vice President Mark Schell.

“It is an honor to be here today,” Schell said. “When we first visited Rushville, it just felt right. It felt like home, and we are honored to be a part of Rushville.”

Governor Eric J. Holcomb was among those in attendance and discussed Diamond Pet Foods’ plans for the 700,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center and how excited he is for what the future holds for Indiana.

To support the new $259 million state-of-the-art operation, the company plans to create up to 170 new jobs by the end of 2024.

“We couldn’t be prouder to welcome one of the world’s largest privately held pet food manufacturers to Indiana’s thriving economic ecosystem,” Gov. Holcomb said. “The Crossroads of America is where agriculture and innovation perfectly intersect, and precisely where our number one ranked infrastructure program, high quality of place and access to talent all contribute to support Diamond’s impressive goals and growth. I’m confident, together, we’ll find success in Indiana for generations to come.”

Henry, the first dog of Indiana, was also in attendance to check out the facility. Gov. Holcomb joked that Henry knows his schedule and that the canine was definitely going to attend this ceremony.

Founded in 1970, Diamond Pet Foods is a family-owned business headquartered in Meta, Missouri, that produces cat and dog food from U.S.sourced ingredients.

The new facility, located at 2606 N. Ind. 3 in Rushville, is the company’s first in Indiana and will house production and distribution operations, increasing the company’s output to Midwest clients. The facility is expected to be operational in 2024.

“I couldn’t be more proud to welcome this family business,” Gov. Holcomb added. “I am profusely thankful for your (Diamond Pet Foods) confidence in Indiana.”

“We are excited to choose Rushville for its proximity to suppliers as well as the community’s skilled workforce,” Mike Kampeter, president of Diamond Pet Foods, said. “This new state-of-the-art facility will allow us to continue offering quality pet food at prices pet parents can feel good about. We look forward to adding Rushville and Indiana to the Diamond family.”

The company employs more than 1,000 associates in its Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, South Carolina and two California locations.

Diamond Pet Foods is growing its Midwest presence due to increasing demand for pet food as well as an increase in U.S. pet ownership over the last several years.

“Rushville is truly fortunate to have Diamond Pet Foods growing their company here,” Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey said. “The leadership of Diamond Pet Foods understands rural communities. They will have a positive impact to Rush County for generations.”
© 2022 Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.