BY KAY SNYDER
The Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) and its electric cooperative, municipal utility and independent telecommunication company sponsors annually recognize outstanding companies and individuals with the Iowa Venture Awards.
Since 1989, the awards have provided an opportunity to uphold the courage, innovation, social responsibility, vision and contribution these people and organizations make in their community, region and state.
The following companies were honored at a luncheon celebration during the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting in early December. Visit the Iowa Venture Award Hall of Fame at www.IADG.com/HallOfFame to view current and previous award recipients.
Nominated by Access Energy Cooperative
Ralph and Colleen Krogmeier’s dairy farm sits on 400 acres near the southeast Iowa town of Donnellson. They are committed to raising healthy cows fed non-GMO crops grown on their farm, caring for the land and producing high-quality, 100% natural milk.
In 2019, Hinterland opened a new cheese production facility and an on-farm store. Hinterland Dairy weekly produces cheese, Quark, a low-calorie, high-protein spreadable cheese, cheddar and Happy Jack (a take on Monterey Jack). They direct market cheese products to local grocery stores, markets, its on-farm store and an online store.
Industrial Packaging Corporation
Nominated by Eastern Iowa Light & Power Cooperative
Industrial Packaging Corporation was founded in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, in 1989 to produce a product for the packaging market. In 2002, it expanded operations with a new plant in Wilton. This facility specializes in honeycomb cardboard, a rigid board with hexagonal cells providing a high vertical compression resistance and load-bearing capacity.
The Wilton facility remains a profit center for the company and is approaching capacity as its customer base expands. In 2019, they more than doubled their Wilton operation with a 30,000-square-foot addition, adding a second honeycomb panel line.
Nominated by Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative
ProPulse, a Schieffer Company, began in Germany in 1923. In 1998, the third generation of Schieffers and managing partner Jeff Theis located their first U.S. manufacturing plant in Peosta. Starting with a 12,000-square-foot building, the company has consistently grown, and in 2015, it underwent a rebranding to become ProPulse. Combined with rental space, ProPulse has more than 135,000-square-feet under roof today.
ProPulse manufactures hoses and fittings for high-pressure fluid conveyance used mostly in industrial applications. It serves world-class OEMs, including John Deere, Equalizer and Tommy Gate. The company also manufactures the popular Flexzilla-brand garden hose.
Nominated by North West Rural Electric Cooperative
RiverView Ridge is an independent and assisted living facility owned by a group of approximately 50 local investors. Construction of the new facility was nearly complete in June 2019. Tragically, the building was destroyed in a fire just days before opening.
Investors boldly moved forward with rebuilding plans and completed the project in fall 2020. Residents moved into this 39-unit facility in October 2020. RiverView Ridge is meeting an important need for housing in Rock Valley.
Nominated by Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative
Rolinda Acres, owned by Tara and Pat Reisinger, is located near the northeast Iowa town of Waterville. The Reisingers have five hog buildings, farm 1,500 acres, milk 785 cows and operate a dog breeding business.
In 2001, the Reisingers milked 150 cows. Today, that number has climbed to 785 cows, with plans to nearly double in 2023. To grow the herd and shorten their workdays, they constructed a 96,000-square-foot barn housing eight robotic milkers in 2020. Approximately 550 cows are milked robotically, while 260 are still milked in the existing parlor. Rolinda Acres plans to add another building and eight additional robotic milkers by 2023.
Sister’s Home Style Entrees
Nominated by Midland Power Cooperative
Deb Davis, owner of Sister’s Home Style Entrees, turned her hobby of preparing meals for family and friends into a statewide business in 2011. Today, 47 employees prepare more than 70,000 meals per month and serve all of Iowa and its bordering states.
Sister’s Home Style Entrees strives to provide delicious meals at an affordable price. Its core customers are elderly and homebound populations, but families also love the convenience and flexibility of its savory meals.
TrinityRail Named “Outstanding Business of the Year”
Nominated by Butler County Rural Electric Cooperative
Trinity Industries selected Butler Logistics Park near Shell Rock as the location of TrinityRail, a $60 million state-of-the-art rail maintenance facility to serve the upper Midwest. This facility is the largest and most equipped maintenance facility in the Trinity Industries network serving Class 1 railroads and shippers. Activity at the facility ranges from repairs and maintenance to coatings, cleaning, inspections, testing and full rebuilds.
The facility includes 370,000-square-feet of manufacturing floor space and 7 miles of rail track. It currently employs 150 with plans to expand to 260 employees and beyond based on demand.