Missouri Minute: Beef processor announces Warren County plant; Cerner hires first chief health officer

Hello, MBA readers,

Where’s the beef? In Warren County, if a plan announced Tuesday to invest up to $450 million in a beef processing plant west of St. Louis becomes a reality. American Food Groups has chosen a location south of Interstate 70 for the project, which the Wisconsin-based company said could create 1,300 jobs. In other news of nine-figure investments in the St. Louis area, health technology startup Geneoscopy has raised $105 million in a Series B funding round. The company plans to use the capital infusion to advance its clinical trials for a diagnostic test to detect colon cancer. Plus, the race to replace U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has another contender. Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, a Franklin County Republican, has filed his paperwork to enter Missouri’s 2022 U.S. Senate race, promising a campaign in which he will “shoot straight” with the voters.

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American Foods Group picks Warren County for beef processing plantThe Wisconsin company, which has factories in seven other states, says it would bring more than 1,300 jobs and generate $1 billion in economic impact. Once the deal is finalized, it plans to start building next year. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) St. Louis electrical contractors to mergeGuarantee Electrical is acquiring Aschinger Electric in a tie-up of companies that will have a combined 1,000 employees and nearly $300 million in revenue. (St. Louis Business Journal)St. Louis gastrointestinal health startup raises $105 millionGeneoscopy, which is working to develop diagnostic tools for colon cancer, raised a mix of equity and debt funding. Lightchain Capital and NT Investments led the Series B round. (St. Louis Business Journal)Jagermeister, St. Louis distributor go to trialA federal court could decide whether the liqueur brand and a nationwide liquor distributor must pay Major Brands, the St. Louis-based distributor, millions of dollars over ending a 40-year relationship with the company. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)Cerner hires first chief health officerDr. Nasim Afsar, who is nationally noted in hospital medicine, will take the position in January. She is CEO David Feinberg’s first executive hire, reinforcing his goal of the company making health data more usable. (Kansas City Business Journal)Federal grant funds to improve West Florissant Avenue in St. LouisThe county received $18.2 million, which will go toward a plan to transform the 2.6-mile stretch where more than 1,000 pedestrians walk each day. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)Ameren Missouri provides millions in electric charging station incentivesSo far, the utility has given about $1 million worth of incentives to businesses and public facilities in an effort to install 1,000 stations across the state. Another $5 million is available through the end of 2022. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Say that again

Last year our teachers were really running on adrenaline. They knew it was short-term, and they could do anything for a year. This year they were looking for a reprieve from the stress, and it hasn’t happened.”

That’s Darbie Valenti Huff, a professional developer with the Missouri State Teachers Association, addressing the stress felt at schools this academic year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Recognizing the mounting mental toll of the pandemic, more than a dozen school districts in the St. Louis area have prolonged Thanksgiving break this year. This is intended to give students and teachers a respite from studies to improve mental health. Both groups have reported stress at or above levels faced last year, when most classrooms were virtual.

Go figure


This is the percentage of dentists in Missouri that accept Medicaid, among the lowest rates in the nation. The enactment of Medicaid expansion in Missouri has put additional strain on dental services in the state, with almost 1.7 million residents living in federally designated dental professional shortage areas. Demand for dental appointments has far outpaced supply, to the extent that it would take another 365 dentists to bridge the gap. Dental health is poor in Missouri, with 40% of low-income residents saying they experience mouth pain, according to a survey by the American Dental Association.

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Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, a Franklin County Republican, has entered Missouri’s crowded U.S. Senate race, seeking the seat being vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt, the Missouri Independent reports. Schatz will compete in the GOP primary against former Gov. Eric Greitens, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, lawyer Mark McCloskey and U.S. Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Billy Long. Schatz was elected to the Missouri House in 2010, then to the Missouri Senate in 2014. Because of term limits, he cannot seek reelection to his current position.

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St. Louis Lager

Anheuser-Busch InBev is bringing back this beer, the original flagship beverage produced by the company’s St. Louis brewery, for the first time in more than 115 years, KSDK reports. It was the main beer produced when Anheuser-Busch was founded in St. Louis in the 1850s, and it won multiple gold medals at tasting competitions before 1900. The dark lager will be brewed using the original recipe, and it will be available in December for a limited time at the Anheuser-Busch St. Louis Biergarten.

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