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Two Major Companies Investing $Millions at Agricenter International
Construction will soon begin on a new research laboratory and state-of-the-art greenhouse facilities at Agricenter International in east Memphis.

The expansion is being led by Bayer CropScience and Helena Chemical Company. The companies are making separate investments at Agricenter International, totaling almost $20 million dollars.

Company representatives will join Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and other officials for ground-breaking ceremonies on April 1st at Agricenter International, 7777 Walnut Grove Road, at 2:00 p.m.

“Once again, we’re seeing major companies invest their resources in Shelby County. Our local economy will benefit greatly from the almost $20 million expansions at Agricenter International by Bayer CropScience and Helena Chemical Company,” said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell, Jr.

Agricenter International is the world’s largest urban farm and research facility, and about 30 businesses have offices there. Most of these companies conduct research on cotton, soybeans and other crops grown on this land, which is owned by Shelby County Government.

“The expansion by Bayer CropScience and Helena Chemical Company will add much to our overall mission at Agricenter International. The research conducted by these companies could set new standards for the agriculture industry,” said John Charles Wilson, President of Agricenter International.

Bayer CropScience, with its North American headquarters in Research Triangle Park and global headquarters in Germany, has had an office at Agricenter International since 1992. The company plans to invest $17 million to build a new greenhouse, which will include 40,000 square feet of growing space as well as a spacious headhouse and open office space.

Bayer CropScience is the leading cotton seed company globally, and we are committed to continued research and development in this core crop. Once completed, the Memphis Greenhouse will allow us to increase the number of traits for cotton varieties for both U.S. and global markets. “As a result, we will improve our ability to provide new technologies that will propel farming’s future and give growers more choices. We are excited to work with Agricenter International on this project and appreciative of their continued support,” said Mike Gilbert, Head of Global Breeding and Trait Development for Bayer CropScience.

Helena Chemical Company, headquartered in Collierville, is a national distributor of crop production inputs. It’s had facilities at the Agricenter International for almost two decades. Specifically, the company’s Helena Products Group will spend $2.2 million on a new research/formulation laboratory and other facility improvements.

“As Helena’s business continues to grow across the country, we are preparing for the future by investing in new facilities on the farm grounds at Agricenter International. This expansion will give Helena Products Group additional resources needed to develop new products to help our customers improve crop yields and quality,” said Mike McCarty, President & Chief Executive Officer of Helena Chemical Company.

Helena will have 20 more people based at Agricenter International by 2017 and five (5) more by 2022.

“We are pleased and proud that Bayer CropScience and Helena have the confidence in the Agricenter International, the State of Tennessee and agriculture to make a $20 million dollar investment in new research and development at this location. This is a significant statement and I want to thank both companies, the Agricenter Board of Directors and the Shelby County Agricenter Commission for the work conducted to make this a success,” said Bill Gillon, Chairman of the Agricenter International Board of Directors.

Agricenter International is a self-sustaining, non-profit organization that provides economic development through agricultural research, educational programs, environmental conservation, natural area preservation and recreational opportunities.

Agricenter International News Conference/Ground Breaking Ceremony Agenda:
1:45 p.m. VIP guests and media meet at the Farmer’s Market parking lot
2:00 p.m. Bus leaves for Bayer CropScience ground-breaking
2:45 p.m. Bus arrives at Helena Chemical ground-breaking
3:00 p.m. Bus returns to Farmer’s Market for VIP Media interviews and reception 

For more information about the event, contact Aubrey Overstreet at 901.857.8608.

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Vasco A. Smith, Jr. County Administration Building • (901) 222-2300
160 North Main Street Memphis TN 38103
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