Progress Agriculture 2018

Pork industry: Processing Prestage

EAGLE GROVE — The 10,000 hogs that will be processed per shift at Prestage’s $300 million pork plant will produce fresh meat cuts that will be distributed to suppliers who will then make certain meats such as ham and bacon, according to Jere Null, Prestage’s chief operating ...

Meat exports: Looking strong

This past calendar year was a record year for U.S. beef exports, with a value of $7.27 billion exported globally. “That’s a record, and only the second time in history we’ve been over $7 billion in sales, so we’re excited about that,” said Dan Halstrom, president and chief ...

Feed industry: Deluxe Feeds

SHELDON — Deluxe Feeds Inc., a division of Kent Nutrition Group (KNG) based in Muscatine, began a $37 million expansion project last fall that will increase its capacity for manufacturing and its versatility within the feed industry. Dan Paca, chief operating officer and vice president ...

ReNewtrient: Chicken litter transformed

CLARION — A company intending to turn chicken droppings into a more environmentally friendly organic fertilizer is looking to locate its $25 million facility in Wright County, according to Bryce Davis, Eagle Grove city administrator. Ryan Brandt, a representative of ReNewtrient 1 LLC, ...

Pork production: Homegrown company

WEST DES MOINES — Jeff and Deb Hansen, owners of Iowa Select Farms, always wanted their company to be an all-Iowa company and have stuck to those intentions all of these years. “They are third-generation farmers right out of high school in Iowa Falls,” said Jen Sorenson, ...

AgSource: Soil sampling

ELLSWORTH — AgSource Laboratories believes that soil sampling lays the foundation for good nutrient management planning. “Our focus in this laboratory is agronomic soil testing,” said Jim Friedericks, outreach and education advisor of AgSource Laboratories. However, soil testing ...

ISU: Generous gift

AMES — Three major financial gifts are jump-starting plans to develop a new feed mill and grain science complex at Iowa State University to help meet the demand for well-trained graduates in the feed and grain industries. The Kent Corporation is committing $8 million, the Iowa Corn ...

Landus Cooperative: Plans to ‘consolidate then grow’

Landus Cooperative began implementation Project 2020: Consolidate Then Grow last summer, a multi-year initiative to enhance profitability and reinvest in more efficient assets on behalf of the cooperative’s approximately 7,000-member equity holders. The implementation of the ...

W & H Cooperative moves into new office

HUMBOLDT — W & H Cooperative publicizes to be one of the most respected oil cooperatives in the state. Last year brought expansion for the energy-only cooperative, and the company is looking for further expansion in the future. W & H Cooperative specializes in propane, diesel, ...

Gold-Eagle Cooperative: Investing in efficiency

EAGLE GROVE — Keeping equipment rolling is easier and more efficient at Gold-Eagle Cooperative, thanks to the co-op’s new truck wash, which has been operational for a few months, and a new maintenance shop that will open this spring. “The time was right for Gold-Eagle to invest in ...

Deal’s Orchard: Hard cider culture

JEFFERSON — What started out as a Christmas gift in 2009 for home winemaking has blossomed into a whole new business at Deal’s Orchard, thanks to Benji Deal’s passion for brewing hard cider. “We had a bigger crop of apples in 2009 and decided to experiment with making hard ...

Smart Ag: welcome to the present

AMES — Colin Hurd, president and founder of Smart Ag Technology Company, could see there was a lack of reliable help for farmers in the fall and decided to try to help solve that issue. “I realized farmers were really struggling with finding qualified labor during the season,” he ...

Ag Startup Engine: Mentorship, financing impact

AMES — An initiative has been developed to give agricultural entrepreneurs a fighting chance to get their business up and running. The Ag Startup Engine, located at Iowa State University Research Park in Ames, was created to foster agricultural entrepreneurs, business startups, ...

Springfield Plastics: Expanding into humboldt

HUMBOLDT — With an increasing demand from its customers to bring quality drainage pipe to the north central Iowa area, Springfield Plastics Inc. has opened up a new distribution facility in Humboldt. Jennifer Furkin, chief executive officer of SPI, said the company — which is ...

POET-DSM: Processing cellulosic

EMMETSBURG — One might say it’s a giant science experiment. Whether it is or not, there’s no question that it is turning heads in the global bio-fuels industry. Since ground was broken in 2012, POET-DSM Advanced Biofuels in Emmetsburg has worked continuously to improve the way they ...

REG: Increasing capacity

RALSTON — It was a little more than a year ago, Nov. 1, 2016, when Renewable Energy Group announced its plans for an expansion at their biorefinery in Ralston. More than 15 months and $24 million dollars later, the project is on track to be finished and the plant should be back to ...

Iowa renewable energy: 2018 outlook is bright

Iowa’s wind energy industry is headed for new heights, literally and figuratively, as 2018 begins. John Boorman, vice president of the Iowa Wind Energy Association (IWEA) board, capsulized some of the work going on in the state, saying Alliant Energy has committed to a $900 million ...

RICL: Halted due to opposition

The construction of Rock Island Clean Line’s proposed 3,500-megawatt high voltage, direct current electrical transmission line — running through 16 counties in Iowa — was halted this past year due primarily to opposition to the proposed project from landowners in Iowa and Illinois, the ...

Corn: Homegrown, stone ground a new old-fashioned way

PANORA — Corn isn’t unique to Iowa, but the corn grown on the Hafner farm near Panora is — starting with the production system and ending with an array of stone-ground products from corn meal to polenta to grits. “We’re organic and non-GMO,” said Jeff Hafner, 49, who runs ...

Iowa Food Cooperative: farmers to consumers

DES MOINES — Call it a win-win. Farmers access a new market and add more sources of revenue into their business, while cutting the time and cost of marketing. On the flip side, consumers enjoy convenient, year-round access to hundreds of food choices directly from Iowa farmers. It’s ...