For the second week in a row, a major economic development announcement that involves agriculture has been made. The German-based Krone equipment manufacturer has announced it is moving its North American headquarters from Memphis, TN to Shelby County, IN. The makers of hay and forage equipment will invest $12.5 million in a complex just off I-70 near Shelbyville. ISDA Director Ted McKinney says it was Indiana’s location and transportation that landed the deal, “Not only did they need good interstate access, but a good air freight hub to fly in parts from Germany. They have this with the FedEx hub in Indianapolis.” In addition, McKinney said Indiana’s location in the heart of farm country was also a factor, “This puts them closer to their dairy customers, not only in Indiana but in Ohio, Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin.”
“Today is a great day for the Shelbyville community and for the state of Indiana,” said Governor Mike Pence. “Look at the Hoosier economy and you will understand why leading companies like Krone are choosing Indiana for growth and job creation. We are a top ten provider of agricultural products in the country; we have the highest concentration of manufacturing jobs in the nation; and we’re making significant investments in local and state infrastructure to support Indiana’s reputation as the Crossroads of America. I am honored to welcome Mr. Jones and the entire Krone team to the Hoosier State, and look forward to growing the company’s future together.”
The company, which is owned by Germany-based Bernard Krone Holding GmbH & Co. KG, will construct a 200,000-square-foot facility on 40 acres of undeveloped land at the intersection of Highway 44 and I-74. With a majority of space dedicated to distribution and showrooms, the facility will serve as the company’s primary distribution hub and training center in North America. The new facility will also house approximately 20,000 square feet of office space to accommodate Krone’s corporate headquarters team, which is expected to begin transitioning to Indiana in 2017.
While logistics and market access were major factors, Krone also wanted to locate in rural Indiana to take advantage of the community and the rural work ethic. “Krone is excited to become part of the Shelbyville community,” said Krone North America President and CEO Tommy Jones. “In our search, we were very impressed with the commitment and teamwork of the community and the state in helping us make this decision. The culture of Krone aligns very well with that of Shelbyville, and we were also drawn by the availability of a strong base of knowledgeable workers who will supplement our already industry-leading internal staff. We believe this transition is important to our growth strategy for North America.”
It was also made public in the media on Thursday that a $230 million cheese plant will be coming to Newton County. The facility, part of the Fair Oaks Dairy operation, will also feature a dairy-themed hotel and educational complex. This project is in the very early stages of development and ISDA Director Ted McKinney said he does not expect final plans to be announced until later this summer.