From United Animal Health

The History

John Swisher had a dream when he was young.  Equipped with growing up in a family business and an Animal Nutrition degree from University of Illinois, he had a bold goal: to feed the world.  It was 1953, and his wife thought his dream was intriguing, but impossible .

And the first step toward his dream started with a handshake agreement with Phil Wallace to lease his mill in 1956 on State Road 38 in Sheridan, Indiana.

Now it is 2022 and John Swisher’s dream has come true.

United Feeds has evolved into United Animal Health with 350 employees, providing nutritional and health products worldwide to people who raise cows, pigs, chickens, ducks, and seafood.  Our products are scientifically based to decrease dependency on antibiotics, increase the health of the animal, and improve environmental impact.

Although we have locations in multiple locations in other states, we started in Sheridan and our headquarters remain in Sheridan.  We own three historic buildings on Main Street and still refer to them as The Bank (management headquarters), The Library (scientific labs), and The Grocery (scientific labs and storage).

The Purpose

We have a deep loyalty to Sheridan and the people of Sheridan.  Therefore, we would like to help Sheridan regain its economic vitality and architectural significance.  To do so, we have learned the process is long and complicated with grants from different state and federal agencies.

United Animal Health would like to provide a kick start to Main Street, Sheridan, while Sheridan builds its competence toward larger grants.  We have developed the United Animal Health Facade Improvement Grant (FIG) of $100,000 to be distributed to Main Street shop wonders who submit a grant application and are approved.  The grants will be matching grants from $2,000 to $10,000 and funds will be reimbursed at the beginning and end of each project.

Hamilton County is having a Bicentennial celebration in 2023.  Sheridan will be the focus of the celebration in May of 2023 and we hope to have some new facades to show them.

We thank the town of Sheridan for being the birthplace of United Animal Health and its dream of feeding the world.

Our company and town have benefited from our association with Great Towns, Inc., an Indiana-based non-profit and Melissa Martin, Managing Director. She brought the town and its people together via a contest that introduced high school students to their architectural heritage, adaptive reuse and preservation.  Additionally, we’ve been working on future projects to enhance our town through another Great Towns, Inc. initiative, Main Street Sheridan / A NEW VIEW.

We have recently started conversations, plans, and financial commitments to improve the town’s development, education, and future.  We would like to help build a Main Street that is vibrant, attractive, and supports the health and welfare of our employees and their families. We would greatly appreciate any help in revitalizing this town that has cradled our company since its beginning.

About the Grants

The program is designed to initiate:  aesthetic improvements, architectural appreciation and economic development.

United Animal Health has selected a Grants Design Review Committee to  be the administrative group for the program and wll work directly with applicants to achieve successful revitalization projects in a timely manner, providing financial support of approved projects.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Available to commercial downtown Sheridan properties located within the boundaries of the Sheridan Historical Downtown Commercial District Including properties with a Main Street address from 2nd to 6th Street.
  2. Commercial operators / tenants are eligible to apply with written approval of the property owner.

Eligible Activities

Items include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Removal of non-historic additions, such as shingled or metal overhangs.
  2. Repair to building exterior Facades (front, rear and side Facades are eligible).
  3. Masonry repair.
  4. Cleaning of building exterior.
  5. Exterior painting.
  6. Repairing or replacing cornices, entrances, doors, windows, decorative detail, awnings.
  7. Sign removal, repair or replacement. (Note:  Guidelines not yet completed)/
  8. Other repairs that may improve the aesthetic quality of the building.
  9. Facade Renovation–Must involve the general upgrading of a building’s external appearance in compliance with the Facade Improvement Grants’ current design guidelines and design review process.

Renovation may consist of:

  1. Accentuating the existing features of the building through painting, lighting, restoration, replacement, cleaning or other treatment of exterior surfaces.
  2. The addition of design elements which may have appeared on the original building or are in keeping with the building’s character, e.g. awnings.

Ineligible Activities

Items not eligible for grants include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Interior improvements (except window display areas).
  2. Roofing
  3. Additions to existing structures.
  4. Sidewalks.
  5. Purchase of furnishings, equipment, or other personal property which does not become a part of the real estate.

Qualifying Facade Guidelines

Award recipients are expected to commit when at all possible to the following guidelines for the work paid for by a FIG grant.

  • Maintains historic or architectural integrity of the building.
  • Preserves or restores architectural features.
  • Uses materials and colors that match building or district identity.
  • Considers the entire building
  • Takes cues from neighboring buildings.
  • Maintains continuity with the character of the district (e.g. storefront retail, etc.).
  • Improves or maintains interest and appeal at street level
  • Expands or maintains visual access to building interiors


Facade Improvement Grant: A 50% reimbursement up to $10,000 for the actual costs of the Facade and/or related exterior rehabilitation expenses

Working with partners, professional architectural assistance with experience in preservation is provided for each project.  A Reference Exhibit, a rendering that combines the owner’s vision of building improvement with professional suggestions for design that is aligned with historical context is also provided at no cost to the owner.

Financial Incentives for Historic Properties

Our Process

  1. Open opportunity to attend professional workshops providing owners with historic preservation knowledge, resources, and inspiration.
  2. Open invite for business owners to submit Interest and Readiness Questionnaire to a FIG review and Design Committee (Committee).
  3. Provision of a Reference Exhibit (professionally done historic review and design rendering reflecting the owner’s design concept aligned with the Qualifying Facade Guidelines) at no cost to the owner.
  4. Selected applicants through the Committee review process complete a Facade Improvement Application.
  5. The Committee reviews the application for details of the project planning and completion of all requirements with the application.
  6. Awards are granted on each project’s merit and are announced on a case by case basis as applications are received and reviewed.
  7. A letter of agreement is signed by Committee and Grantee before distribution of funds.
  8. Additional resource information is prepared at no cost to the owner by a professional preservationist including contractor notes, suggestions for methods and approaches to renovation aligned with industry standards, etc. This additional support intends to assure that an owner’s investment is optimized.

The Grant Application

NOTE:  Applications are accepted only from Applicants who have been invited to submit an application following submission of An Interest and Readiness Questionnaire, a review by the Committee and an invite from the Committee to apply.




“It is all about first impressions.  The facade of a building, metaphorically, either smiles or frowns.  A facade that is ‘improved’ smiles at the public and invites them to visit a thriving business environment.”

– Parvin Gillim, Owner at Main Architect and Chair of Sheridan’s Redevelopment Commission

“Facade improvements will enhance the vitality of our Main Street for both current residents and visitors to Sheridan.  They will be an integral part of the dining, shopping, working, and living experience that Sheridan has to offer.”

– Chef Karyn on Main Street

Our Partners

Thank you to the following for their support of Sheridan’s Historic Main Street and our Facade Improvement Grant!

Indiana Landmarks

OCRA Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs

Town of Sheridan Redevelopment Commission

Sheridan Historical Society

Great Towns, Inc.

Sheridan Main Street, Inc


If you have any questions, please contact:
Local Contact: Cindy Keever
Owner, Keever’s Sheridan Hardware