Aurora Organic Dairy cuts ribbon on Columbia facility

Officials hold a ceremonial scissors to cut a ribbon at Aurora Organic Dairy milk facility in Columbia, Mo.Today state and local officials gathered for a special ceremony in Columbia to officially open Aurora Organic Dairy’s 127,000 sq. ft. milk production and storage facility. The plant is the company’s second milk bottling facility and is expected to have created more than 100 new jobs in the local community by year’s end.

“Aurora Organic Dairy is a great company that will ultimately bring more than 160 quality jobs to Missouri,” Governor Mike Parson said. “Missouri’s central location and infrastructure network are two keys to attracting and retaining good businesses here in our state. We look forward to supporting their growth for years to come.”

Aurora Organic Dairy (AOD) is a leading producer and processor of retailer brand organic milk. The company is unique in that it operates dairy farms and milk bottling facilities, ensuring the highest quality and traceability of any organic milk product in the market. AOD grows a portion of its own certified organic feed and pasture, raises and milks organic cows at eight farms, and processes and packages milk at two locations (Columbia, Mo. and Platteville, Colo.).

The new Columbia plant will help AOD deliver more organic milk products with all the variety and convenience today’s consumers want. Its state-of-the-art aseptic milk bottling line makes AOD one of very few dairy plants in America to distribute shelf-stable organic milk products.

“Our company’s mission is to deliver high-quality organic milk with integrity to everyone, everywhere,” Aurora Organic Dairy Chief Executive Officer Scott McGinty said. “Products like these not only offer consumers more organic product choices, but they also help expand markets for organic milk producers. Innovation is rapidly changing the face of dairy beverages like never before, and organic milk is no exception.”

“This project symbolizes the advancements in agriculture and bringing high-quality organic milk to market,” Columbia Mayor Brian Treece said. “It also solidifies Columbia’s economic advantage for agri-business and food manufacturing companies.”

“We can’t think of a better partner than the state of Missouri and the community of Columbia,” McGinty added. “Our team is excited to become a long-term contributor to this great community.”

The facility will process and package an array of products:

  • Milk in a variety of single-serve and shelf-stable (aseptic) bottles.
  • Value-added dairy products, including fortified and flavored milks, and creamers.
  • Milk varieties including A2 production, organic grass-fed, Omega 3 fortified and lactose-reduced.
  • Extended shelf-life milk in half-gallon cartons.

About Aurora Organic Dairy

Aurora Organic Dairy is the leading producer of store-brand organic milk and butter for U.S. retailers. Based in Boulder, Colo., it operates a heifer farm and organic dairy farms in Colorado and Texas, as well as organic dairy processing plants in Platteville, Colo. and Columbia, Mo. Organic agriculture, animal care and sustainable production are the cornerstones of AOD’s business. Its processing facilities and each of its farms are certified organic by USDA National Organic Program accredited certifiers and certified by Validus, a leading independent animal welfare auditor.

AOD is involved in overseeing organic standards from cow to carton. It monitors the entire product lifecycle, to ensure quality from its farms to its processing facility. For more information, visit  opens in a new

ThermAvant Technologies Quadruples Space

Fueled by growing demand for its thermal management hardware and services, ThermAvant Technologies will more than quadruple its engineering and manufacturing space.  In May 2019, the firm will open a 33,000-square-foot facility at 2508 Paris Road in Columbia.

Founded in 2007, ThermAvant is expanding rapidly as aero-defense and technology customers adopt its oscillating heat pipe technology into their platforms. Today, ThermAvant serves the avionics, spacecraft, computer, radar, and telecommunications industries. The firm has also been engaged by leading agencies, including the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), NASA, National Science Foundation, Army Research Laboratory, Office of Naval Research, and the Missile Defense Agency.

“After nearly a decade of sustained R&D, we started selling our first commercial products in 2017. Now, we are scaling up engineering and production as quickly as we can,” says ThermAvant CEO Joe Boswell.

“There has been a decline in Midwest manufacturing,” he adds.  “It’s encouraging to buck that trend with the opening of our new facility.”

In 2018, ThermAvant received funding from Missouri Technology Corporation (MTC), a public-private partnership created by the Missouri General Assembly to promote entrepreneurship and foster the growth of new and emerging high-tech companies.  “People generally associate technological innovation with Silicon Valley, New York, or Boston,” says Bill Vega, interim executive director of MTC.  “But, as ThermAvant demonstrates, there are exciting developments taking place in the heartland.”

In that same year, ThermAvant and the AFRL were selected as an R&D 100 Award winner for the development of “Oscillating Heat Pipes for High-Power Electronics Thermal Management.” An independent panel of judges deemed this work as “one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of the year.”

ThermAvant’s grand opening reception will take place at the new headquarters on May 2nd.  “We look forward to offering tours to attendees and familiarizing local community members with our products, our history with the University of Missouri here in Columbia, and our future plans,” says Mr. Boswell.  “In our opinion, prospects are strong for our small but expanding business, and this should benefit our local community as well.”

ThermAvant designs, develops, and delivers custom thermal solutions to improve size, weight, performance and/or costs of advanced energy and technology platforms.  The firm is best known for pioneering oscillating heat pipe technology for aerospace, defense, and IT applications.  ThermAvant also designs and builds custom micro-channel cold plates and ejectors, and provides thermal engineering services for government agencies and private customers.

Beyond Meat triples production footprint in Columbia

Beyond Meat announced in June that it will increase its manufacturing footprint in Columbia from 30,000 to 100,000 sq. ft. Demand for Beyond Meat’s innovative plant-based products continues to skyrocket.  This expanded capacity will help support Beyond Meat’s popular line of plant-based fresh meat products as well as provide for increased growth across new product launches moving forward. The new facility in Columbia will generate more than 250 new jobs in 2018.

“We first came to Missouri in 2009 to access the outstanding research being conducted at the University of Missouri. We have been investing in, and growing together with, Columbia, MO ever since, and I’m pleased to announce this latest manufacturing investment, our largest to date. Our expansion not only brings more jobs and opportunity to this special community but also furthers Missouri’s position as a leader in the production of plant-based meat,” said Ethan Brown, CEO and Founder of Beyond Meat.

REDI assisted Beyond Meat through its decision-making process and announcement in 2012 that it would locate in Columbia. REDI provided temporary office space for Beyond Meat during the construction of the production facility.

Boone County approves Chapter 100 Revenue Bonds for NWMI

The Boone County Commission voted on September 20 to approve Chapter 100 Revenue Bonds for the new Northwest Medical Isotopes facility to be built in Discovery Ridge Research Park.

The bonds allow the county to provide financing to help the company build its Columbia facility while giving it a 50 percent tax break on real estate and personal property taxes over the next 10 years.

After the tax breaks, the company will pay an estimated $6.5 million to local taxing districts over the next 10 years. All the local tax districts affected voted in favor of the incentive.

NWMI will make a $108 million investment in the plant and will create 104 new jobs that will pay above the county’s average wage.

Northwestern Medical Isotopes announced in 2014 its plans to build a facility in Columbia, and received its building permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in May of this year.  Plans are to break ground on the facility in early 2019. The facility will be primarily used to produce molybdenum-99, which is used in medical scans for cancer, heart disease, and bone and kidney disease.

Missouri House honors REDI with resolution

State Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch presented the framed Resolution to REDI President Stacey Button and REDI Executive Vice President Bernie AndrewsThe Missouri House of Representatives honored REDI with a resolution honoring and congratulating REDI on its 30th anniversary. State Representative Cheri Toalson Reisch presented the framed Resolution to REDI President Stacey Button and REDI Executive Vice President Bernie Andrews at the REDI quarterly event June 5.

The resolution reads:

Whereas, the members of the Missouri House of Representatives proudly pause to recognize REDI (Regional Economic Development Inc.), which is celebrating its Thirtieth Anniversary in 2018; and

Whereas, thirty years ago on March 14, 1988, the State of Missouri incorporated REDI, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing increased economic opportunities while maintaining its superior quality of life for the community; and

Whereas, REDI’s primary role was set to recruit new businesses, to assist existing businesses with retention and expansion, and to assist new business startups; and

Whereas, accredited by the International Economic Development Council, REDI remains true to its early roots, as reflected in its recent years’ work and in its tagline: “Attact. Expand. Grow.”; and

Whereas, the City of Columbia provides REDI’s staff, while investments from the City, Boone County, the University of Missouri, and a wide variety of local businesses provide REDI’s operating funds; and

Whereas, the purpose of the collaboration is to coordinate the area’s economic development activities, to share resources to increase the chances of success, and to prevent competition between local entities for projects that benefit the community as a whole; and

Whereas, REDI assists businesses in Columbia and throughout the county in ways big and small, helping businesses to find available space, employers and educators to work together to equip students with skills employers are seeking, connect businesses to state programs that help with employee training or aid in expansion, provide co-working space for a startup, and partner entrepreneurs with mentors;

Now, therefore, let it be resolved that we, the members of the Missouri House of Representatives, Ninety-ninth General Assembly, join in extending our most hearty congratulations to REDI upon this very special anniversary event.


Missouri House of Representatives resolution honoring REDI on its 30th anniversary