Iowa Venture Award


West Des Moines, IA – The Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), on behalf of Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent telecommunication companies, honored seven distinguished Iowa companies with the Iowa Venture Award at a luncheon held in conjunction with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting at the Sheraton West Des Moines.

NEW Cooperative was recognized with and Iowa Venture Award for their investment of nearly $40 million in the complex near Rowan, Iowa. This operational grain storage center and agronomy facility will also include a pelleting feed mill scheduled to come online in 2018. When fully operational, the new 180-foot-tall mill will have a production capacity of 500,000 tons of pelleted feed per year. This facility will serve the Coop’s 4,500 members and add value for the region’s grain and livestock producers. NEW Cooperative was nominated for an Iowa Venture Award by Prairie Energy Cooperative.

“IADG, on behalf of our sponsors, is proud to recognize these outstanding companies,” said Rand Fisher, president of Iowa Area Development Group. “Their innovation, vision, courage, and social responsibility have made an impressive impact on their communities, regions and the State of Iowa.” 

Five additional businesses were recognized with an Iowa Venture Award for their significant contributions in diversifying and strengthening Iowa’s economy. These 2017 Iowa Venture Award Recipients include: Al’s Corner Oil Co. / Sparky’s One Stop, G-Force Customs, MPC Enterprises, Siouxland Machine Inc. & Siouxland Fabricating Inc., and Spencer Ag Center. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Bill Northey, assisted in presenting the Iowa Venture Awards and honoring the Iowa companies and their leaders.

The 2017 “Outstanding Business of the Year” Iowa Venture Award was presented to ELPLAST America, Inc., located in Marion, Iowa. ELPLAST America, a Poland based plastics manufacturer of press to close zippers, located their North and South American headquarters and new 30,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in the Marion Enterprise Center. Starting as a trade show lead; several local, state and national partners came together to bring this company to Iowa. Notably, Central Iowa Power Cooperative secured the last ever $2 million loan through the USDA Rural Economic Development Loan & Grant program to support this project. With 30 employees, ELPLAST America produces products that are sold to over 60 countries on 6 continents. ELPLAST America was nominated for an Iowa Venture Award by Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative.

About the Iowa Venture Award

This marks the 30th year that IADG has presented Iowa Venture Awards to individuals and organizations, both large and small, in recognition of their significant contributions to Iowa’s economy through entrepreneurial leadership, innovation and the creation of job opportunities. History has demonstrated that these are among the most accomplished and successful companies in the state. Together they are helping to sustain and grow Iowa’s economy. The Iowa Venture Award Hall of Fame showcasing these 256 companies can be found at .

About Iowa Area Development Group (IADG)

IADG is the business and community development leader for Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent telecommunication companies. Since 1985, the partnerships and economic development efforts of IADG and their sponsors have assisted with more than 2,000 projects, generating in excess of $10 billion of capital investment and over 50,000 new or retained jobs for Iowa. 


Pictured left to right:  Rand Fisher, President, IADG; Todd Foss, Prairie Energy Cooperative; Kenneth Norem, Director of Operations/Engineering; Kent Nolting, Feed Department Manager, NEW Cooperative; Dan Dix, General Manager, NEW Cooperative; Bill Northey, IA Secretary of Agriculture; Mark Walter, Grain Manager, NEW Cooperative; Lynn Dreyer, HR Manager, NEW Cooperative; Gary Moritz, Communications Director, NEW Cooperative; and Jim Vermeer, VP Business Development, Corn Belt Power Cooperative.


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