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For 31 years, the Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) has annually 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 help to sustain and grow Iowa’s economy. On December 6, the following companies were honored at a luncheon celebration during the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives’ Annual Meeting.  

Eagles Catch 
Eagle’s Catch is a large-scale tilapia production facility located on a 10-acre lot in Ellsworth, Iowa. The complex includes a 3.8-acre greenhouse for production, a smaller greenhouse where young fish will come in and full-grown tilapia will ship out, and office space. The state-of-the-art production facility minimizes biosecurity risk and is as water neutral as possible. Eagle’s Catch leaders plan for the company to quickly become one of the largest tilapia growing facilities in the U.S. 

Nominated by Midland Power Cooperative 

Martin Marietta
Martin Marietta is an American-based company with operations in 27 states and a leading supplier of building materials, including aggregates, cement, ready mixed concrete and asphalt. Martin Marietta’s Midwest Division includes more than 30 operations across Iowa. The company provides Iowa customers with a wide variety of high-quality products for construction needs, such as wind farms, Highway 20, Lake Red Rock Hydro Electric Dam, and the Facebook, Google and Microsoft facilities. 

Nominated by Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative

Nutriom is a small, family-owned company. They invented a technique for drying eggs to keep their fresh flavor, nutrition and functionality. OvaEasy Egg Crystals are created through a production process that gently dries real egg without exposing it to high heat. The company is relocating from the state of Washington to the former Cargill facility in Panora. With the help of seven revolving loan funds, the company has embarked upon a nearly $10 million relocation, renovation, production and warehousing investment. 

Nominated by Guthrie County REC

Perry Creek Dairy
Perry Creek Dairy is a multi-generational family operation in Plymouth County. Before year-end, they expect to have a second dairy operational. The new facility – also in Plymouth County – will feature an 80-stall parlor, milking up to 3,600 cows three times per day. The milk will exit the dairy daily via six tanker trucks headed for a nearby cheese production plant in Hull, Iowa. The facility will have 7.5 acres of under-roof freestall barns for cow comfort, safety and environmental stewardship.

Nominated by North West REC 

Sullivan Supply
Sullivan Supply is an innovative leader of livestock show supplies. The company has been family owned and operated since it began in the family garage in 1989. In spring, 2018, they completed a new 67,400-square-foot headquarters, manufacturing, research and development, warehousing and distribution facility in the Dunlap Industrial Park. In 2010, to give back to the stock show industry, Sullivan Supply created Stock Show University, a non-profit organization to educate the youth in the livestock industry on the proper techniques to show animals.

Nominated by Harrison County REC

Trinity Fabricators
Trinity Fabricators, located near New Albin, is a structural steel fabricator for building construction. Founded in 1995, Trinity Fabricators’ belief in quality customer service enabled them to move beyond repairs and small projects to large-scale building construction jobs. The company is the sole manufacturer of the structural steel beams for Kum & Go convenience stores located throughout 11 states. They also cut steel for more than 180 Applebee’s restaurants. Trinity Fabricators recently installed a new laser-cutting system, significantly improving efficiency and increasing production.

Nominated by Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative

Waspy’s Truck Stop
Waspy’s Truck Stop, under the leadership of Lawrence “Waspy” and Doris Handlos, has invested more than $7 million to create Waspy’s Travel Plaza. The Waspys farmed in the area for years and responded to the community need for a truck stop to serve the thousands of vehicles that pass by on Highway 141 or journey to Templeton for Templeton Rye. The facility provides a full-service restaurant, groceries, fuel and car wash for travelers and residents of Templeton. After successfully launching the Templeton facility, they built a similar $18 million facility in Audubon. 

Nominated by Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative

Outstanding Business of the Year – Prestage Foods of Iowa

Prestage Foods of Iowa is nearing completion of its more than $300 million state-of-the-art processing plant near Eagle Grove. The 200,000-square-foot facility has been called the most advanced processing facility in the world. It incorporates design and features to limit its environmental footprint and enhance workplace safety and efficiency. The plant will employ nearly 1,000 workers and will be capable of processing 10,000 pigs in a single shift. With an annual target of 2.6 million pigs being harvested, that means more than 600 million pounds of pork per year. Approximately 45 percent of the pork will go to other facilities for further processing; 25 to 30 percent will be sold in the international marketplace; and grocery chains, stores and meat retailers will sell the remainder.

Nominated by Prairie Energy Cooperative

The Iowa Area Development Group (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 its sponsors have assisted with more than 2,100 projects, generating more than $12 billion of capital investment and over 53,000 new or retained jobs for Iowa.


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