The Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), on behalf of Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and independent telecommunication companies, honored eight distinguished Iowa companies with the Iowa Venture Award at a luncheon held in conjunction with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting on Thursday, Dec. 5.
Iowa Select Farms (Midland Power Cooperative) is the recipient of the “Outstanding Business of the Year” Iowa Venture Award. Iowa Select Farms, headquartered in Iowa Falls, is the fourth-largest pork producer in the world and the largest family-owned production company in the U.S. It markets over four million hogs and 1.5 billion pounds of pork annually. With over 800 farms in 52 counties, Iowa Select has become a leading employer and economic engine for the state and Iowa’s rural communities.
The company recently embarked upon state-of-the-art innovation and investment in single barn and double barn pig finishing facilities, as well as the construction of ten new sow farms aimed at addressing an Iowa sow herd decline that has been ensuing since 1990. Each of these breed-to-wean farms has an economic impact of $4.7 million annually. This number includes facility construction and maintenance, 18 facility jobs, direct payroll of over $700,000, and ripples onward to include equipment, feed and grain, energy, internet, taxes, and other consumables.
Businesses served by four Corn Belt Power cooperatives won Venture Awards:
AVEKA (Butler County REC) is a divestiture of the company 3M and is a full-service toll processing and research & development company that focuses on particle technology. Recently, AVEKA underwent a $2.6 million project in Fredericksburg that included a 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse expansion, new equipment, and facility remodeling. AVEKA is also a model of community engagement, supporting many local causes and charities as well as encouraging their employees to be actively engaged in community initiatives.
Peterson Transportation Inc. (Calhoun County REC) of rural Manson is a long-distance hauler focusing on flat-bed delivery of steel and wood. This 20-year-old company has grown to a fleet of 45 semi-trucks and 125 trailers. Peterson Transportation employs over 70 people, including 55 drivers.
Mid-Iowa Cooperative (Grundy County REC), headquartered in Conrad, Iowa, has been serving its member-owners and other farm customers for over 75 years. In 2019 the Co-op grew its business by acquiring and merging with East Central Iowa Cooperative. This year Mid Iowa invested over $18 million, acquiring 40 acres in Grundy County and constructing a new 5-million-bushel grain delivery and storage facility. Grundy County Rural Electric Cooperative nominated Mid-Iowa Cooperative for the Iowa Venture Award.
M & C Anderson Pullets (Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative) of Sioux Rapids is acclaimed for their farming practices, including tree planting, water retention, and other conservation methods. This 1,753-acre farm is home to ten specialized bio-security facilities that rear nearly 5 million pullets annually. Owner Colleen “Coke” Anderson has been recognized as a leader in the poultry industry serving on the board and committees of the Iowa Poultry Association and United Egg Producers. In 1999, she was elected as the first woman to Chair the American Egg Board. Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative nominated M & C Anderson Pullets for the Iowa Venture Award. ?