Groundbreaking for new fertilizer facility near Defiance

By Dusty Sonnenberg, CCA

Under a bright and sunny, late August sky in Defiance, Ohio, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the new Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. fertilizer production facility. 

Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. (TKI) is a Belgian based company with its North American headquarters in Phoenix AZ. 

“It is an 80-year-old company pioneered by the Kerley brothers who worked in projects like the Manhattan project. They discovered how to take hazardous waste and convert it into fertilizer products. We were sustainable before sustainability was cool,” said Russell Sides, Executive Vice President of TKI. “We primarily are a sulfur-based liquid fertilizer company.” 

TKI produces familiar agricultural products such as Thio-Sul, KTS, and K-Row 23. The new 50,000 square foot production facility will occupy 50 acres and is set to be operational in 2024. The facility will service the Eastern Great Lakes Region through its distribution partners and will include terminal loadouts or rail cars and tanker trucks.

Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. has 14 operating plants across rural America. The selection of the Defiance, Ohio location, on the Eastern edge of the Corn Belt, was decided the TKI business team after looking at several sites across the country. 

“The landscape and the people and community are very welcoming and have been very supportive. It is very important to us as a company to be involved in the community,” Sides said. “We are in the business to grow food, and it takes a community to bring it all together. We are excited to join the community of Defiance and build our relationships together. This facility will build certainty in the region and into the system to be sure farmers in the area get the products they need to grow the crops and produce the food. We are very proud of the stewardship we bring. We are about integrity and safety.”

Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc. is an established leader in the production and marketing of crop nutrition and crop protection products. They also specialize in products for the mining, water treatment and process chemical industries.     

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