Elanco Animal Health is one of the biggest employers in small town Larchwood, IA, but soon enough the facility will be closing its doors and taking 135 jobs with it.
"Disappointment," said Larchwood, IA mayor Dean Snyders. "Because it employees several people from the city of Larchwood."
Elanco spokespeople told KTIV about 135 employees will lose their jobs when the plant is closed and sold to another buyer.
The cattle and swine vaccine manufacturing facility is not only one of the biggest employers in the city, it's the third-largest in Lyon County.
"It's been a good citizen in the county for almost 40 years so it is disappointing to see them leave," said Lyon County Economic Development Director Steve Simons.
The plant has stood on the outskirts of Larchwood since the 1980s, surviving two changes in ownership.
And employees have continued to work through all of it.
"I know most of them personally that do work out there and they've been working there for a number of years and some just started, some have been there for a while, some have retired. But I think it still was a shock to them," said Snyders.
In a statement sent to KTIV, Elanco says:
"This decision was made after evaluating operations across our global manufacturing network and is not a reflection of site performance. This change will help maintain our competitive advantage to deliver greater innovation and value to our customers. Reflective of our company values, our priority during this difficult time will be support for affected employees and ensuring they are treated with respect and integrity."
The facility workers have experienced turmoil before, and what may seem like an end, could really be a new start.
"We'll find a way to get through this and move forward and maybe there will be opportunities for Lyon County, those employees, going forward," said Snyders.
Employees here at the facility in Larchwood say they were told, by Elanco, not to speak with any members of the media.
Elanco is eying the end of 2019 as the date that they will transfer all of the operations here from Larchwood to their facility in Fort Dodge.
Elanco representatives say the company is looking for a buyer to take over operations at the facility.
They also said employees at the Larchwood location can apply for a position at the plant in Fort Dodge.