U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell visited Alltech Algae in Winchester, Ky. on Thursday. The $200 million facility, opened in March 2011, is actively pursuing algae’s applications as a fishmeal replacement in animal nutrition as well as its viability as an alternative fuel source. It is considered one of the largest commercial algae production sites in the world.
Dr. Pearse Lyons, Alltech’s president and founder, gave Senator McConnell a brief tour of the facility, noting the incredible and perhaps even yet undiscovered opportunities with algae. There are more than 800,000 strains of algae, he said, in comparison to the four to five yeast strains that gave rise to Alltech’s core animal health and nutrition business.
Sen. McConnell also spoke with workers and local officials during the visit and praised them for their hard work and innovative approach in using new technologies to improve animal health and nutrition. “Alltech is an extraordinary success story and its workers should be proud of the work they do in improving the nation’s agricultural and nutritional health,” Sen. McConnell said.
Inspired by Dr. Lyons’ personal story as an Irishman establishing his global business in the United States, the Senator said, “Whether your family came over in 1980 like Pearse’s or before the Revolutionary War like my parents, the one thing every risk-taking immigrant had in mind was to fulfill their dream in the land of opportunity. The global economy is here. We have to embrace it. We need to be the best place in the world to do business. Let’s embrace competition, not only within America, but throughout the world.”