Photo: Merck Animal Health representatives and Nebraska state, local and economic development officials cut the ribbon on newly expanded Omaha facility.

Merck Animal Health today held a ribbon cutting to celebrate a major expansion of its west Omaha operations center.

Merck and Co., Inc. is a Fortune 500 company and global manufacturer of pharmaceuticals. Merck Animal Health produces a broad range of veterinary medicines and services, and has two locations in west Omaha. These include a large biological manufacturing facility and the newly-expanded operations center.

Merck has been doing business in Omaha since the 1950s. Its Omaha operations center was built in 2007 and serves as a Midwest hub for the company’s inventory, processing and shipping operations. The facility employs nearly 100.

The new expansion puts the operations center at nearly 240,000 square feet, including 31,000 square feet of refrigerated space. It has the ability to support over 15,000 pallets of secured storage. The site is slated to distribute more than 10 million pounds of product to over 70 international markets in 2019.

“We’ve had a presence in Nebraska for a long time and appreciate the opportunity to continue growing our footprint here,” said Rick Schubert, Executive Director of Logistics at Merck Animal Health. “This investment is a testament to our customer commitment, but Merck Animal Health’s commitment to Nebraska as well.”

Notably, the operations center is working toward a zero-waste environmental impact, the company reports, and is a strong supporter of recycling all waste streams. The site has earned the National Safety Council Award with distinction for 11 years running.

Company leaders as well as officials from both the City of Omaha and the State of Nebraska were on hand for the ribbon-cutting. This included Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe and Department of Agriculture Director Steve Wellman.

“This latest investment by Merck Animal Health reflects on Nebraska’s status as a national leader in agribusiness and an epicenter for agricultural innovation,” Rippe said. “We value Merck’s continued commitment to Nebraska and its people.”

“I congratulate Merck for today’s achievement,” Wellman said. “This expansion builds upon a foundation focused on innovation and scientific breakthroughs in antibiotics and animal health that are happening every day at the Elkhorn campus right here in Nebraska. Their work to develop and promote antibiotics to improve animal health is an important asset to Nebraska’s number one industry – agriculture.”