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Gov. Ricketts Spotlights German Biotech Investments as Trade Mission Concludes

Media Contacts:  

Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970

Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967


Media Release:

Gov. Ricketts Spotlights German Biotech Investments as Trade Mission Concludes


Gov. Ricketts and his trade delegation visit Bayer’s headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany.


LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY – This weekend, Governor Pete Ricketts wrapped up his first trade mission to Germany.  His final activities included visiting companies that have made key investments in Nebraska and promoting Nebraska beef.


On Friday, Gov. Ricketts started his day with a tour of Bayer’s learning center in Leverkusen and met with executives to thank them for their investment in the state.  In Nebraska, Bayer has facilities in Gothenburg, Waco, York, Kearney, Beaver Crossing, Gretna, and Omaha.  From biotech research to detasseling, their investment in Nebraska helps create thousands of job opportunities. 


In Essen, Gov. Ricketts visited the international headquarters of Evonik, a company that has been producing the amino acid L-lysine at a plant in Blair, Nebraska for about 20 years.  According to the company, the amino acid is “an animal feed additive that benefits food production and increases sustainability.”


Evonik is also a part of a joint venture with DSM of the Netherlands at a second plant in Blair.  This joint venture, Veramaris, is a bioscience company that is revolutionizing feed nutrition.  The state-of-the-art Blair facility produces omega-3 fatty acids for animal nutrition through the cultivation and fermentation of natural marine algae.  Traditionally, omega-3 production has relied on fish oil obtained from live-caught fish.  Veramaris’ breakthrough procedure—which harnesses dextrose from Nebraska corn—satisfies commercial feed demands, particularly in aquaculture (fish farming), while conserving oceanic biodiversity.


Both Evonik investments are a part of a growing bioscience campus in Blair, Nebraska that also includes investments from Cargill and Novozymes.


On Friday, Gov. Ricketts and American Consul General Fiona Evans of Düsseldorf hosted a lunch for beef buyers to promote Nebraska beef.  Under a new agreement, the European Union (EU) will allow the U.S. to almost triple the amount of beef exported to the region.  In 2005, only five percent of the U.S. beef entering the EU came from Nebraska.  By 2018, Nebraska’s share rose to 53%, and was valued at $124.3 million. 


Following lunch, Gov. Ricketts met with North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Minister President Armin Laschet to discuss opportunities to expand engagement between Nebraska and NRW.  NRW is the largest state in Germany, and home to German companies investing in Nebraska.


Additional information and releases from throughout the trade mission can be found by visiting


Additional photos from the day can be found here.