High-Tech Ag Research Company Opens Major Facility in Jewel
–by Ted R. Morrow
In major economic news for Jewel, NuAgra, an international firm for leading-edge genetics crop research, has opened a major research facility on the outskirts of our town. NuAgra’s Field Operations and Research Center for Excellence (FORCE) plans to further develop the company’s lines of hybrid corn and wheat crops. According to NuAgra’s Public Relations Officer, the site will include high-tech research labs and significant space for growing crops to test their viability under field conditions.
In an exclusive interview, Jewel Mayor Buford L. Cochran proudly declared this a turning point for the Jewel economy. “This high tech company will bring jobs to Jewel and diversify our economy and culture while still keeping with our agricultural roots,” he crowed. “I am pleased NuAgra picked Jewel over all the other Midwest towns they could have chosen. I believe this was because we’re already known for growing ‘the gem of Indiana corn.’”
The Daily Gem asked Mayor Cochran to comment on rumors that NuAgra would not be hiring many locals, preferring instead to bring in its own staff from Ireland and the East Coast. “That’s all right,” the Mayor demurred, “I am sure they will be shopping in our stores for their food, furniture, cars and other things. Why just this morning Louie Truitt told me he’s already sold several cars to these newcomers, and he said they hardly haggled, paid near full price!”
The Daily Gem confirms that other Jewel businesses have also seen an uptick. Franklin’s Farm Equipment reports that NuAgra has been buying up farm supplies and equipment as fast as they can get it in stock. Realtor Don Billingsley says most available houses in Jewel have already sold, while Butner Construction is looking to hire more workers to complete the new annex of Diamond View Terrace Apartments, begun several years ago but delayed by Jewel’s economic decline.
However, at the NuAgra research site there are disturbing signs of standoffishness. A high and some say un-neighborly fence is going up around their extensive grounds. When we approached asking for comment about the secretiveness, a nervous guard with a strange accent said, “I can’t comment on any secretiveness.”
When we asked the Mayor about all the secrecy he just smiled and said “Hey, this is a big, important high-tech research company. Of course they have trade secrets and stuff. That’s just part of Jewel going big time!”