Ward Laboratories has cut the ribbon on a 16,000 square foot addition. Company founder and president Ray Ward says the expanded facility will help the company provide more efficient soil testing results for ag producers.
Ward says, “That’s our goal and as times are changing, we’re trying to keep up with those changes and provide the services that the farmers and ranchers would like to have.”
The company opened its first lab in Kearney more than 30 years ago and has continued to grow, now employing 32 people full-time and 20 part-time. With advances in technology, Ward says the expansion will greatly improve the facility’s productivity.
“We’re going to be able to process samples more efficiently, we can handle more of them and get faster turnaround time in the fall when we’ve been so busy,” Wards says. “With this expansion, we’ll be able to handle more samples then. That’s our goal, to be able to provide the service more quickly and not get so far behind in that fall timeframe.”
Ward Laboratories analyzes soil, water, feed, plant, manure, fertilizer, wastewater and biological testing for soil health. Last year, the lab analyzed 323,000 soil samples. Since the business started, it’s handled more than 4.4-million samples from every state and seven foreign countries.
By Brent Wiethorn, KKPR, Kearney