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Diamond Pet Food Groundbreaking in Rushville

Governor Eric J. Holcomb joined Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey and executives from Diamond Pet Foods today to announce the company’s plans to build a 700,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center in Indiana to support its Midwest client base. To support the new $259 million state-of-the-art operation, the company plans to create up to 170 new jobs by the end of 2024.

“We couldn’t be prouder to welcome one of the world’s largest privately held pet food manufacturers to Indiana’s thriving economic ecosystem,” said Gov. Holcomb. “The Crossroads of America is where agriculture and innovation perfectly intersect, and precisely where our number one ranked infrastructure program, high quality of place and access to talent all contribute to support Diamond’s impressive goals and growth. I’m confident, together, we’ll find success in Indiana for generations to come.”

Founded in 1970, Diamond Pet Foods is a family-owned business headquartered in Meta, Mo. that produces cat and dog food from U.S.-sourced ingredients. The new facility, located at 2606 North State Road 3 in Rushville, will be the company’s first in Indiana and will house production and distribution operations, increasing the company’s output to Midwest clients. Construction is underway, and the facility is expected to be operational in 2024.

“We are excited to choose Rushville for its proximity to suppliers as well as the community’s skilled workforce,” said Mike Kampeter, president of Diamond Pet Foods. “This new state-of-the-art facility will allow us to continue offering quality pet food at prices pet parents can feel good about. We look forward to adding Rushville and Indiana to the Diamond family.”

The company employs more than 1,000 associates in its Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, South Carolina and two California locations. Information about open positions will be made available online.

Diamond Pet Foods is growing its Midwest presence due to increasing demand for pet food as well as an increase in U.S. pet ownership over the last several years.

“Rushville is truly fortunate to have Diamond Pet Foods growing their company here,” said Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey. “The leadership of Diamond Pet Foods understands rural communities. They will have a positive impact to Rush County for generations.”

Based on the company’s job creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) committed an investment in Schell & Kampeter Inc. (dba Diamond Pet Foods) of up to $1.5 million in the form of incentive-based tax credits and up to $300,000 in the local community from the Industrial Development Grant Fund to support infrastructure improvements. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and investments are made. The city of Rushville offered additional incentives.

Rush County Comedy Show was a Hit

On September 24th, the Princess Theater welcomed six comedians and 156 guests through its doors for the final Rush County Bicentennial Event. The comedy show was well received with laughter filling the Princess Theater the entire evening.

The Rush County Comedy show was the final Bicentennial Celebration Saturday events. In the first-ever show of its kinds, comedians Jake Smith, Brent Terhune, Dyke Michaels, Dustin Burkert, Shannon Rostin, and Conor Delehanty took center stage in front of a packed audience. Rushville own, Jake Smith, acted as the host of the event with Brent Terhun serving as the headliner of the night. The event was sponsored and made possible by Larry Mull and Elevate Entertainment & Events, LLC. Beverages were provided by BarMaids.

“The Rush County Comedy show marks a new beginning for events and programming in the City Center and Princess Theater through its creative use of the space and facilities,” comments Mayor Mike Pavey. “Since its restoration, we have aimed to host events like this in the Princess Theater. It was refreshing to see our goal become a reality.”   While Bicentennial events may be coming to a close, programming is still ongoing. As the Christmas season approaches, commemorative Bicentennial prints and ornaments will be made available for purchase. For questions concerning the Bicentennial celebrations, contact Brian Sheehan, Bicentennial Committee Chairman, at (765) 932 – 3735.

Rush County’s Bicentennial Celebration was Record-Breaking

The culminating celebration of Rush County’s Bicentennial took place on Saturday, September 17th. The day was filled with festivities and fun as thousands of people flooded into the Rush County community to celebrate 200 years of its success and progress. From the Willkie Days Parade (Chamber of Commerce), Rushfest Downtown Festival (Chamber of Commerce), Covered Bridge Dinner (Heart of Rushville), Youth Art Show (Optimist Club – over 200 entries), the Willkie 5 in 50 Covered Bridge Bike Ride (United Fund – over 400 participants) to the Bicentennial Concert featuring Eddie Montgomery (Heart of Rushville/Riverside Park – over 5500 attendees), Rush County was alive with record-breaking celebrations.

“We are forever thankful for the opportunity to celebrate our people,” comments Mayor Mike Pavey. “We are further committed to capitalizing on this momentum and ensuring that Rush County continues to lead the way in rural Indiana for the next 200 years.”

The morning began with the third annual Five in 50 Bike Ride. It started in Rushville and included 12-mile, 24-mile, and 50-mile routes. The route took bicyclist through the five historic covered bridges and five Rush County towns. The Bike Ride had record-breaking attendance with over 400 riders participating. At 10 AM, the Bicentennial parade began with much celebration and excitement. Awards and $200 checks were presented by the Rush County Chamber of Commerce based upon creativity, historic heritage, and patriotism. Winner are as follows:

Mayor’s Choice – Rushville FFA

Chamber of Commerce’s Choice – Hoosier Youth Challenge Academy Cadets

Creative – Rushville FFA and Rush-Shelby Energy

Historic – Henry Henley Library in Carthage and R.L. Coon Excavating Inc.

Patriotic – Rush County Heritage and Rushville Elks

Following the Bicentennial Parade, RushFest was in full swing. Main Street was flooded as thousands shopped the vendors and enjoyed the charm of Rushville’s historic downtown. The Kidz Zone with activities including outside games, Touch-a-Truck, bounce house, obstacle course, and face painting were a smashing success. Thousands shopped local and supported businesses through the Bicentennial Bargain Days program. At 6 PM, over 5,500 people gathered at Riverside Park Amphitheater for the final concert of the Bicentennial Concert series and the Friends of Fred Food Trucks. Following Tyler Booth and Molly Hatchet, headliner Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry took center stage as we celebrated Rush County and showed why our town is “Something to be Proud of.”

Bicentennial Celebrations were coordinated by the Rush County Bicentennial Committee (Chairman Brian Sheehan) and financed from dozens of sponsoring organizations. Gold donors (+$10,000) include the City of Rushville, Rush County Government, Rush County Community Foundation, Rush County Chamber of Commerce, Riverside Park, and Emerson-Copeland. For a full list of sponsors, please refer to the Bicentennial Website (

While Bicentennial Celebrations may be slowing down for Rush County, they are not stopping. The City of Rushville Parks Department is in the process of finalizing details concerning the planting of 200 trees for Rush County’s Bicentennial. Commemorative Rush County Bicentennial prints and ornaments will be available for purchase as the Christmas season approaches. Rush County’s Bicentennial celebration has been record-breaking in nature and signifies a renewed commitment toward the growth and development of the county.

Bicentennial Mural Completed

Through the generous support of an Emerson-Copeland grant, the City of Rushville paid for the creation and painting of a commemorative Bicentennial mural along Campaign Flats on Main Street.

“For Rush County’s Bicentennial, we knew that we had to capture our 200 years of history in paint,” comments Rushville Director of Special Projects Brian Sheehan. “While also celebrating the Bicentennial, this mural will continue to beautify Rushville historic downtown and serve as a welcome sign to those visiting our great city.”

This block-style mural captures the spirit of Rushville and Rush County. In an artistic flare, the mural welcomes guests to Rushville’s downtown corridor. With images of the City Center, Courthouse, Overlook, TQ-Midget car, and Rushville lion, this mural features significant Rush County emblems. Moreover, the mural contains notable numbers and saying (“Leading the Way in Rural Indiana”) specific to Rush County.

It is because of artist Lance Woskobojnik and Intern Lexey Yager that this art piece went from dream to reality. Yager drafted a mural design after hearing input from the Mayor’s office and looking at similar “Instagram-able” murals. Woskobojnik and Yager met to clarify the vision and finalize a mural design. This beautiful addition to Rushville’s historic downtown came to life from that collaboration and talent. This mural was one of many additions to Rush County’s Bicentennial celebration and Rushville’s downtown beautification. It is because of the support of Emerson-Copeland the work of artist Lance Woskobojnik, and the support of the community that this project was possible. This mural marks the final large art project celebrating Rush County’s Bicentennial.

New Art in Rushville’s Downtown

New signage and art has gone up in downtown Rushville to celebrate Rush County’s Bicentennial. These additions were made possible through the generous support and work of dozens of individuals. Read below for an update on the new additions to Rushville’s Downtown.

RUSH Sculpture – The RUSH artwork was commissioned by the City of Rushville as a leave behind art project celebrating Rushville and Rush County’s Bicentennial. It is dedicated to those who choose to live, work, and play in Rush County. The sculpture was inspired by Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE sculpture. RUSH represents both the City and the County that were named in honor of Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signor of the Declaration of Independence. The following people/entities had a hand in the creation and installation of this beautiful artwork: Sponsor – Rush County Community Foundation; Artists / Fabricators – Starweld, Davis Towing, Pike’s Sandblasting, Bobby Thompson and Samani Design & Fabrication; Site preparation / concrete – City Street Department; Project Design/Oversight – Mayor Mike Pavey & Project Manager – Brian Sheehan.

Guitar Sculpture – The guitar sculpture was the idea of City of Rushville Street Commissioner Jemmy Miller. Jemmy convinced Street Dept. employee Bill Emerson that this was a project he could successfully complete. After roughly three months of intermittent work, this beautiful guitar emerged. It is because of individuals like Bill that Rushville continues to be able to celebrate its Bicentennial. The art piece is dedicated to all the citizens that share their time, treasure and talents to make Rushville a better place. The following individuals had a hand in the creation and development of the guitar sculpture: Sponsor – City of Rushville; Artist / Fabricator – Bill Emerson; Artist / Painter – Lance Woskobojnik; Powder Coating – Pike Sandblasting; Site work / Concrete / Installation – City Street Department.

Banners – The over-the-street banners and signage on Fishmoon’s building pay homage to the people, places, and things that make Rush County historic. The banners were paid for through a generous donation from Emerson-Copeland.

Bicentennial Mural – Over the next few weeks, artist Lance Woskobojnik will finish a commemorative Rush County Bicentennial mural on the south wall of the Campaign Flats building. The mural features significant Rush County monuments like the Courthouse, City Center, and Overlook Park. This block-style mural will bring a source of vibrancy and color to Rushville’s historic downtown. This artwork was co-designed by Intern Lexey Yager and artist Lance Woskobojnik. The mural has been paid for through the generous sponsorship of Emerson-Copeland. These new additions to downtown are paired with the beautiful flowers and floral arrangements along Rushville’s main street corridor. Each year, Vogel’s florist creates these arrangements, and the City of Rushville Street Department waters and maintains them. These beautiful additions to Rushville’s downtown mark a continued commitment to the next 200 years of Rush County history and success

City of Rushville and Rush County Announce READI Grant Use

In December of 2021, Governor Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) approved plans to award $500 million to support regional development plans across 17 regions through the transformational Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). Rushville, Shelbyville, Greensburg, and Batesville, along with Rush, Shelby, and Decatur counties, cooperated through Accelerate Rural Indiana (ARI) Region to apply for this grant funding.

The ARI Region of Rush, Shelby, Decatur, and Batesville were awarded $20 million. With projects aimed at increasing quality of life, infrastructure, housing, and workforce development, monies were evenly distributed between those in the region.

John McCane, executive director of Rush County ECDC, comments that “The ARI Region very well may be the only genuine rural region in this competition, so being awarded $20M is a huge deal. The state will quickly get a lesson in how this READI investment in the rural ARI Region will become a catalyst for future investment and dynamic growth in East Central Indiana.”

Rushville and Rush County will leverage its $5,485,714 grant dollars through two large projects focused upon quality of life, job creation, and public infrastructure.

Diamond Pet Foods: Providing public infrastructure for the integration of Diamond Pet Foods to the Rush County community

($223,183,214 total project budget; $1,485,714 READI allocation)

In the single largest investment in Rush County’s history, Diamond Pet Foods will invest more than $220 million to construct a 700,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Rushville and create more than 170 jobs by 2024.  Nearly $1.5 million of Rush County’s READI grant money will be allocated to the development and expansion of infrastructure to support the new company. This will include the addition of a new elevated water tank in the Commerce Park, as well as water and wastewater expansion projects. While aimed specifically to benefit Diamond Pet Foods, these improvements will benefit future business and industries that choose to grow in Rush County. Groundbreaking on the facility is expected by late 2022. Rush County ECDC is the leading organization on this project.

Community Center: Centralizing and providing resources to Rush County families, students, and parents

($23,600,000 total project budget; $4,000,000 READI allocation)

At the end of 2020, the Rush County Community Foundation (RCCF) was awarded a $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. toward the creation of a community center. The City of Rushville will be dedicating $4 million dollars of the READI grant funding towards the redevelopment of the former Walmart into this new community center. The REC (Recreation, Education and Collaboration) Center will be the product of an innovative approach to a decades long dream for our community, with something for everyone. The vison for the REC Center is to become an all-in-one resource for many of our community’s needs. It will house a fitness center, basketball court, walking/running track, indoor pool, and daycare center. It will also be the new, expanded home of the Rushville Public Library.  There will be offices for other social service agencies, including the Rush County Community Assistance food pantry, WIC, ICAP, Rush County Senior Citizens Center and Indiana Children’s Bureau. The groundbreaking is to be expected by late 2022 or early 2023. The Rush County ECDC is the leading organization on this project.

The allocation of these READI funds will allow for two revolutionary projects that will improve infrastructure, quality of life, and create jobs within the Rush County community.

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