5:20pm

Tue June 28, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Animal and Food Safety Expansion

A Lexington animal and food safety firm hopes to increase its workforce by more than a third over the next several years.

  Neogen currently employs about 130 people at two locations.  The firm is making a five and a half million dollar investment with plans to create 75 new jobs.  Neogen C-E-O Jim Herbert says the company once tested race horses for performance enhancing drugs.  But, it now tests livestock to ensure it's safe for human consumption.

“So we’re involved in a number of things down here, just a small portion of it anymore happens to be ‘drugs of abuse’ testing, but we’re in a number of vaccines, we’re in a number of things that go, really you could view it as farm safety back inside the farm gate,” said Herbert.

Herbert says the plan is to quickly hire 25 people with an aim toward hiring another 50 down the road.  He says a difficult economic condition doesn’t lessen the need for a secure food supply.

“One of the things that stands in the way of expansion of food production is we get bigger and more faster through put, food safety becomes a bigger problem to have to deal with. So food safety is clearly a market that, despite the economy that we’re willing and need to support going forward and that’s certainly be helpful to us,” added Herbert.

The Neogen products include pharmaceuticals, veterinary instruments, wound care, and disinfectants.