Mycogen Seeds Puerto Rico Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company and an affiliated company of Dow AgroSciences, opened its new $60 million seed research and development facility in Salinas on Wednesday.
Mycogen Seeds has operated in Puerto Rico since 1992 and the decision to expand came from the growth in agricultural opportunities, company officials said. The new site is a corn and soybean breeding and parent seed facility, and will meet additional agricultural research needs with increased capabilities.
The new site includes 16 buildings containing office spaces, seed labs, equipment storage and several fields. Together, the buildings cover more than 70,000 square feet. With the growth at the Salinas site — which spills over onto the neighboring town of Guayama — an unspecified number of new, full-time and seasonal positions were added in 2014 with plans to continue to increase employment over the next five years.
“This expansion is one of many projects we have completed around the world to bring farmers the best technologies and traits in corn and soybeans,” said Rolando Meninato, Dow AgroSciences global leader, Seeds Global Business Unit.
“Dow AgroSciences’ research efforts in corn and soybeans concentrate on the development of innovative technologies that will provide solutions for the growing world,” he said.
The capital investment of the new Salinas/Guayama location was a necessity to support the growth objectives of Dow AgroSciences Seeds business. The Salinas/Guayama site will have the latest state-of-the-art equipment in seeds and trait research, enabling our researchers to continue cultivating the most innovative farming technologies, to meet the demands of today’s farmer.
“This new station of Dow AgroSciences puts Puerto Rico at the center of important research and development activities that will draw from the island’s strong talent pool to generate sustainable solutions to address global agricultural challenges. We see this opportunity as an additional economic development tool that will strengthen Puerto Rico’s R&D capabilities towards the future,” said Antonio Medina-Comas, executive director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, who was present for the opening.
Helping the community
Several non-governmental organizations that Dow AgroSciences supports through its community outreach program also attended the event. Representatives and students from Habitat for Humanity, Puerto Rico, 4-H clubs, local communities, public schools and colleges also took part in the announcement of the collaboration with the Puerto Rico Food Bank, which received a $15,000 donation from the company.
“Our employees unite when it comes to helping our community. We have partnerships with the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, the 4-H clubs and are currently running STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] programs with the local public schools and universities. Through these efforts, our employees are able to take center stage, making sure we leave a positive impact on the community where we live and work,” said Lucy Cruz, Dow AgroSciences Puerto Rico site leader.