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16 N 29th St., Fort Dodge, IA September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 3 1
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ADDRESS: PHONE: 713 Central Ave. (515) 573-2141 Fort Dodge, IA 50501 FAX: (515) 571-4529
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42 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021
on the cover Poet Bioprocessing Gowrie, Iowa
INSIDE: 6 Iowa Crossroads of Global Innovation 8 Q&A: Webster County Farm Bureau 11 Shining Star: Sol Birkey 12 City Connect 14 Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance Newsletter 18 County Connect 20 College Connect 22 Board Member Spotlight: NEW Cooperative 25 CVB: Fort Dodge is recruiting and supporting conferences
and multi-day meetings
30 United Way 33 Financial Focus
September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 3 5
Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance News
Iowa Crossroads of Global Innovation Land located seven miles west of Fort Dodge has
Farmers get their seed, and the intelligence of how,
come to be known as Iowa Crossroads of Global
what, and when to plant, from NEW Cooperative
Innovation (ICGI) because it houses global
and fertilizer from Koch, CJ Bio America, and
innovators such as Cargill, CJ Bio America, and
New Cooperative. Once their crop has grown and
Valero. The industrial center has over 500 acres
is harvested, it is either stored, exported out of the
of land available for development and became an
country, or trucked out to our ethanol plants like
Iowa Economic Development Authority certified
Poet and Valero, or Cargill for further processing.
site in April 2014.
As we know, ethanol is consumed both locally and nationally. The dried distiller grains also
In addition to those located in the ICGI,
produced by Cargill, Poet and Valero goes into
cattle feed, also locally and nationally.
Nitrogen, Poet, Prestage, Silgan and Nestle also all contribute to each other and benefit our region
Cargill also produces a starch known as dextrose
with their products. Not many people think of
which is piped directly to CJ Bio America where
agriculture on a daily basis, let alone all that goes
they ferment it into amino acids, lysine and
into the products produced by the industries we
threonine. The amino acids are used as a feed
have in Webster County. At times, their value and
ingredient for the pork and poultry industries and
the many jobs and products that are intertwined
is distributed to local, national, and international
in one Iowa county because of them can be
missed, unless you take a look at everything these companies impact with their production. These industries are vital players in the agricultural and economic DNA chain in our region, and that chain starts with seed.
6 4 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021
THE AGRICULTURAL AND ECONOMIC DNA CHAIN IN OUR REGION
Thus far, we have the feed ingredients for the production of pork, chicken, and cattle – of which Webster County is the in the middle of the pack for livestock production. However, our neighbors are top producers, and their products go to Prestage, Day Break Farms, and Tyson. Webster County then fits back into the ‘circle of life’ when products from animal processing facilities are further processed by BHJ and, to an extent, Nestle. Keep in mind that these products also make it to our tables in the form of a breakfast omelet, Sunday ham, or Iowa Chop. To further our chain, Silgan supplies Nestle cans for their cat food, which in turn end up in the bowls, and stomachs, of our house cats. Elanco and AML Riverside then fit into the mix through the pharmaceuticals that they are making in their labs. None of this even touches on the service providers and suppliers, like trucking, warehousing, maintenance, and cleaning, that are needed to support the industries mentioned above. Then you throw in bankers, equipment dealers, veterinarians, and insurance providers who support the individual farmers and you end up with a much stronger image of the interlocked agricultural economy we have in Webster County. We are truly growing a “value added” economy that revolves around agriculture and the base ingredients, and then continues to build upon those ingredients locally.
7 September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 5
WEBSTER COUNTY WITH FARM BUREAU
8 6 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021
WITH WEBSTER COUNTY FARM BUREAU
PLEASE TELL US ABOUT WEBSTER COUNTY FARM BUREAU. Webster County Farm Bureau: The Webster County Farm Bureau was organized in 1918 to provide county farmers a unified voice when advocating for agricultural related legislative polices. The Webster County Farm Bureau is a non-profit 401(c)5 corporation with a governing body of elected board of directors that meet on a monthly basis. HOW DO YOU WORK TO BENEFIT IOWA FARMERS AND AGRICULTURE? Webster County Farm Bureau: The Webster County Farm Bureau Board of Directors along with other county Farm Bureau members work together to lobby for agricultural interests at the county, state and national level. The members work to educate the general public about the food, fuel and fiber that farmers produce which benefits all Americans. We also perform in class educational units to school students along with public relations that further informs the urban population.
WHAT EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING/ OPPORTUNITIES DO YOU PROVIDE IN THE AGRICULTURAL FIELD? Webster County Farm Bureau: The Webster County Farm Bureau provides periodic grain/livestock marketing meetings, pertinent changes in legislative/congressional laws effecting farmers meetings and relevant agricultural information via the Iowa Farm Bureau Weekly Spokesman newspaper, podcasts, and internet website. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WEBSTER COUNTY FARM BUREAU MEMBER, AND WHAT KIND PARTNERSHIPS DO YOU HAVE THAT ENABLE YOU TO PROVIDE BENEFITS TO YOUR MEMBERS? Webster County Farm Bureau: The Iowa Farm Bureau has partnerships with other businesses to provide member benefits such as discount tickets to various venues, discounts at specific retail businesses, Lasik eye surgery, Ford car/pickup rebates, etc.
9 September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 7
Age: 15 Hometown: Barnum, IA Grade/School: Sophomore at Fort Dodge Senior High School
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to play games. Especially ones that involve teamwork. I love to act and be involved with any kind of theatre. I love singing and playing all sorts of instruments. I also love to be with my friends and family.
In what ways are you involved in the arts both in school and in the community?
In school, I am the vice president of the performers club. And, I try my best to be involved with all of the performing opportunities at school. As well as that, I also competed in both Large Group and Individual Speech. I made All-State for Group Improvisation with my friend Lilly Johnson. And, we were just freshmen at the time! I am also in one of the choirs at school, Voce Lyrica. And, for things I do within the community, I love to be involved with Hawkeye Community Theatre and Stage Door Productions. I just love performing in the community.
What do you most like about singing and performing and why?
I love the emotion that singing provides me. The passion that I can put into this, more than anything. You can just get so into it, that you don’t even realize that you’re even singing anymore. As for performing, it just makes me feel like I can be anyone I want to be. The unlimited amount of characters that could be played by one person, is insanely cool. And, most of the time, it’s all I want to do. Singing and performing has more recently become something way more important in my life. I’ve always enjoyed being on the stage and to this day I so dearly love it. Although my mom passed away in April, I find myself singing for her. And performing for her. Because I know she’s always watching and smiling at me. She was always proud of what I was doing with my artsy nature. She couldn’t get enough of it! So, that’s a part of why it is
so important to me. To just give this art so much passion and love, like she gave to me. And, most of all, I love how accepting the performing community in Fort Dodge is! It doesn’t matter if you have skill or not, you are always welcome in the show. And, you can grow by interacting with others. This community is really just the best.
Who do you look up to and why?
One major person that I look up to is Mrs. Lindey Krug. She is my homeroom teacher, as well as the theatre teacher. She is a great mentor and an amazing educator. She helps me be the best version of myself. And, along with her, one of my coaches, Mrs. Amber Rouse. She is so fun to work with and she has taught me many things during speech season. And, I think her sense of humor rubbed off on me a little bit as well. I look up to them because they are very intelligent and kind human beings who both put so much time and effort into putting on productions and events for the arts community at school. And, I can’t forget about Ms. Kim Wankum. She is the reason my voice is as good as it is today. She helped me through the ups and downs of figuring out my voice and how to use it. I look forward to being in her choir again this year.
What is the most challenging thing about performing on stage and why?
In my opinion, memorizing is the toughest part of performing on stage It’s a tedious process and many people find it difficult. Including myself. But, once it does get memorized, the show comes together. And, even if you do mess up a line, there will most likely be someone there to help cover you. Along with this, there are so many ways to help memorize, you just have to find the right way for you.
8 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021 10
Even though you have a few years ahead of you to think about it, and change your mind, what would you like to do after high school?
I plan to go to community college to get an associate’s degree in theatre. Most likely at Iowa Central Community College. Then go to the University of Northern Iowa to further my education in theatre. And, perhaps get an education degree after that to teach in the arts.
Do you see arts and culture in your life 25 years from now? Of course I do! I want to teach it, direct it and perform within it from many years longer than that.
You win 2 tickets to any show or concert ever. The artist can be alive or dead. Who do you want to see and who would you take? Why?
It’s honestly really hard to just choose one. But, in reality, I’d like to go see the Heather’s Broadway musical. Although it’s not showing anymore, it would be so great to go see it. It’s also a little dark in humor and explicit. Besides that, the musical has some of the best songs and cast. In my opinion, if you don’t mind some not child-friendly singing, I suggest you check out this musical. As for who I would take, I think it would have to be my sibling, Caz, as they love the musical too. Caz is also very involved in the arts and is so amazing and supportive of what I want to be a part of.
Who or what inspires you to be a better person?
I definitely think that my friends inspire me to be a better person more than anyone. They tell me when I’m in the wrong and help me correct myself. They also help me realize that I’m more than what I tell myself. And, I can do anything I want to in life. And just by being myself! I will always be thankful to them for that. My dad also really encouraged me throughout my years involved in the arts. He always knew that I would be his most dramatic kid. He is an amazing father.
What is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment would have to be when I made Large Group All-State for speech. Some people may not see it as a bid deal, but in my heart, it was amazing. And, I just had the best time competing with and against my friends. Can’t wait for next season!
Go to www.fineartsassociation.com for a list of upcoming events and our members….. Over 60 events each month! To become a member or let us know about an event contact: Shelly Bottorff, Executive Director • email@example.com
11 September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 9
City Connect FORT DODGE
Corridor Plaza Continues to Gain Momentum
In April 2021, Corridor Plaza was named as one of six proposed Iowa projects selected to be considered for funding from the Iowa Reinvestment Act program. The $86.1 million dollar project intends to reinvent what has been a hub of Fort Dodge and Northwest Iowa, the Crossroads Mall, into a catalytic center for retail, dining, hospitality, and event space. In June, the City of Fort Dodge received notice from Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) – the administrator of the Iowa Reinvestment Act program funds – that the project was awarded a $17M grant. “The potential businesses we’re talking to are really exciting and recognized names,” said BJ Stokesbary, representing one of the partners in Crossroads Plaza Development LLC. “The Reinvestment Act has given us the funding and recognition to attract these businesses and accelerate our timeline to execute on these opportunities much quicker.”
10 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021 12
TIMELINE • November 2019 – Acquisition and demolition of former Sears building • March 2020 - Corridor Plaza Development LLC takes ownership of Crossroads Mall – purchasing from New York ownership group for $3.3M • Fall 2020 - demolition of former JC Penney building • February 2021 - Fort Dodge City Council approves application for Iowa Reinvestment Act program • March 2021 - Pre-Application submitted requesting $18M in funding from the Iowa Reinvestment Act program • April 2021 - Corridor Plaza is selected as one of six projects to be considered for Reinvestment Act funding • Spring 2021 – Demo of east wing and Younkers building, and recruitment of retailers ramps up, including two letters of intent from national retailers • June 17, 2021 - Ribbon cutting officially opens the new sections of South 27th Street and Second Avenue South • June 25, 2021 - City of Fort Dodge awarded $17M from the Reinvestment Act program • June 28, 2021 - UnityPoint Clinic Express becomes first new business to open in Corridor Plaza
LOOKING AHEAD “We’re on the verge of announcing our first retail and restaurant tenants,” said Stokesbary. The Discount Tire near Fifth Avenue South is close to opening. Events are a huge part of the culture and economy in Fort Dodge. “We’re in discussions with a hotel operator and an entertainment venue operator. We want to create an extended space to complement and maximize the successes of existing festivals, celebrations, and events such as the Iowa High School Girls Softball Tournament.” This fall, work will begin on the next plat of the development. This includes construction of the roadway connecting S 29th Street to 5th Avenue South. In early 2022, construction is expected to begin on the big box strip center as well as a 9500 sq ft strip center.
September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 13 11
1 1 7 2 0 2
N E WS
The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance September 2021
24 North 9th Street, Suite A Fort Dodge, IA 50501 Phone 515-955-5500 Fax 515-955-3245 www.greaterfortdodge.com
STAFF Dennis Plautz CEO
Economic Development Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Development Director email@example.com
Organizational Administrator firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Manager email@example.com
Communications Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org
The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance would like to recognize the following 2021 10 Under 40 recipients. Thank you all for your involvement in our community. Our region is full of people who strive to make it better, and we appreciate and applaud your efforts. •
Luke Becker, financial aid coordinator, Iowa Central Community College
Jen Crimmins, senior vice president and chief financial officer, Citizen Community Credit Union
Austin Hill, senior pastor, First Presbyterian Church
Sara Hill, associate pastor, First Presbyterial Church
Lindsay Laufersweiler, Webster County Recorder
Cameron Nelson, sales manager, Shimkat Motor Company
Lydia Schuur, communications specialist, Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, and member of Fort Dodge City Council
Kate Stucky, director of operations and finance, St Edmond Catholic School and Holy Trinity Parish
Jesse Ulrich, president, Iowa Central Community College
Anne Zwink, winemaker, Soldier Creek Winery
MISSION STATEMENT “Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance is an efficient organization whose mission is to unify and coordinate accountable, economic and community development, to enhance the quality of life in Fort Dodge and the region.”
12 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021 14 16 14 22
Fort Dodge will welcome its newest apartment and townhome development, District 29, this Fall! In a city hungry for additional housing options, District 29 will provide new, modern options with a variety of floorplans. The apartment building features studio, 1 bedroom, and 2 bedroom apartments. Tired of renting a home with no parking, laundry, or amenities? All units include in-unit laundry, elevator access, balcony options, indoor parking options, and several community spaces to enjoy such as a fitness center and community room. For those seeking additional privacy, there are also 2 and 3 bedroom townhomes with attached garages available. All units are pet friendly with the added benefit of an onsite dog park. Enjoy hassle-free living with no added maintenance of shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. With a grand opening coming up, Ben Lauer with Real Property Management Express has been communicating with the Growth Alliance to help spread the word: "Our team wants to urge members of the community to stop in and take a look, even if you are simply curious about what we have to offer. Although construction is still underway, we are able to offer hard-hat tours and also have virtual showing options available. The community has been popular thus far, and availability will be limited." Lauer goes on to say, "If you are interested in possibly joining the District 29 community, now is the time to do it. The apartments are brand new, we still have a selection of available layouts, and there are occasional specials going on during the lease-up. Be sure to give us a call or email in to ask about different options!" He also notes, "We also hope that our development helps employers with their corporate housing needs. We understand the challenge housing poses for businesses and their people, and we are here to fill that need as our local economy continues to grow."
September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 15 13
If you would like to schedule a tour, ask questions, or simply obtain more information, you may reach a District 29 agent at (515) 417-2168 OR DISTRICT29@EXPRESSRPM.COM.
16 14 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021
A ribbon cutting was held on August 27th with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Webster County, celebrating their new office location at 822 Central Ave Suite 102. ISU Extension and Outreach is open Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
17 September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 15
County Connect POET POET, headquartered in Sioux Falls, SD, is the world’s largest biofuels producer. POET is also a leader in renewable bioproduct production including beverage and personal care product ingredients, high-protein animal feed, renewable CO2 and a variety of other bio-based alternatives to fossil-based products. Founded in 1987 by the Broin family, POET has grown into a company that operates 33 facilities across eight states. POET employs more than 2,200 team members. At full run rates, POET produces three billion gallons of bioethanol, 14 billion pounds of distillers grains and 975 million pounds of corn oil annually and is a leading purchaser of U.S. grain. In 2019, Fast Company recognized POET on its annual list of “Most Innovative Companies” for transportation and FORTUNE recognized POET on its list of companies that are changing the world. POET Bioprocessing – Gowrie began full production in May 2006. The plant is the 23rd to be built by POET Design & Construction and the 17th plant to be managed by POET. POET Bioprocessing – Gowrie employs 43 team members from the local community and purchases approximately 31 million bushels of locally-grown corn each year. The facility has a production capacity of 90 million gallons of bioethanol and provides premium, high quality Dakota Gold® brand livestock feed for regional, national and international markets. For Andrew Samp, General Manager at POET Bioprocessing – Gowrie, the team at Gowrie is what makes the plant a great place to work. “Being a small team of just over 40 people that is a part of a larger company like POET, I like to tell people that we have the best of both worlds — the family atmosphere of a small company in a small town, with the stability, resources and opportunity for growth that a larger organization can provide. The team genuinely cares for each other, and we work hard to be our best in everything we do.”
16 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021 18
POET Bioprocessing – Gowrie has a unique place in the history of bioethanol plants. It was the 100th bioethanol plant built in the United States. Because of this unique accolade, Former President Donald Trump visited the site in 2015 when he was running for office.
“The team genuinely cares for each other, and we work hard to be our best in everything we do.”
Other events that the POET Gowrie team has participated in include donating hand sanitizer to the city of Callender for RAGBRAI, the Gowrie Daycare, Dayton Elementary School, Dayton Ro-
General Manager at POET Bioprocessing – Gowrie
deo and the Farnhamville Old Settlers’ Day celebration. The team also donated to the Harcourt Fire Department, an Iowa organ donor network and the Gorwrie Golf Course “Swinging for soldiers”
“The POET plant has had an active role in the Gowrie community
Tournament, as well as sponsored a horse hitch for the Gowrie 4th
since it began production,” said Samp. “We’re proud to be a part
of July Parade, where they won the “Most Entertaining” award.
of this community, and it is our mission to give back and support
“We work hard to make POET a great place to work and an asset
those around us. From donating hand sanitizer to volunteering to
to our community,” said Samp. “We make it a priority to take care
making Valentine’s day treats for Pear Valley Rehabilitation and
of our team members and give back to our communities. We are
Nursing Center, our team has been dedicated to finding opportuni-
proud to support the initiatives of our team members and organiza-
ties to make a difference in the lives of others.”
tions that make our community and our world a better place.”
19 September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 17
College Connect Iowa Central Agriculture Program As the agriculture industry continues to change and expand,
tunity to gain skills and transfer to a 4-year college to obtain
so does the Agriculture Program at Iowa Central. The pro-
a BS (Bachelor of Science) degree. The Agriculture Program
gram is designed to prepare students for the production, re-
rents 245 acres that provides the resources for students to
tail, and service aspects of the agriculture industry. Students
apply many skills gained in Farm Management, Agronomy,
will gain employable skills through our 2-year AAS (Associ-
and Agriculture Business.
ates of Applied Science) degrees in Animal Science, Agronomy, Agriculture Business, and Agriculture Studies. Students gain experience working with some of the largest agricultural businesses in the Midwest. Upon the completion of this Associate of Applied Sciences program, students may seek full-time employment in agriculture or may choose to continue their education. Those choosing to pursue full-time employment are likely to find placement as our placement rate is extremely high.
The Agriculture Program prides itself in teaching life skills, technology, and providing students with an opportunity for success upon graduation. We work closely with industry partners to develop these skills and provide for potential employment opportunities. We have invested heavily in technology for students in the areas of Precision Agriculture, Animals Science, and Agriculture Business. Give is a look, we think you will like what you see!! The college is also working with our area high schools and Students interested in pursuing a 4-year degree have the
hopes to expand its FFA connections as we help our food
opportunity to obtain a AS Transfer (Associates of Science
supply system expand and modernize with a skilled work-
Transfer Degree). This degree provides students the oppor-
20 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021 18
Iowa Central has also been a global leader in working with the Iowa and global biofuel industry by providing affordable and timely testing for motor vehicle fuels and home heating oils. Our clients include producers, marketers, laboratories, consultants, transportation organizations, research firms and consumers. Our laboratory offers personal service, rapid turnaround (within 72 hours in most cases) at low cost. We are ISO-9001:2008 Accredited; and we are the first laboratory in the nation to have achieved BQ9000 Accreditation (for biodiesel). To learn more about these programs, see FAQ and Resources. Check us out on Instagram (ICCCAGPAS), Facebook (Iowa Central Community College Agriculture Technology/PAS), and Twitter (Iowa Central Ag), https://www.iowacentral. edu/industrial_technology/agricultural_technology/index.asp and at www. http://iowafuellab.com/ .
21 September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 19
BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
GREATER FORT DODGE GROWTH ALLIANCE BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
COOPER GRAIN FACILITY AND FEED MILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION – GRAIN FACILITY OPENING FALL OF 2021, FEED MILL BEGINNING 2022 NEW Cooperative, Inc.’s mission is to add value to their members’ farming operations. NEW Cooperative, Inc is a member-owned farmer cooperative with 60 operating locations throughout north, central and western Iowa serving over 8,000 members. NEW also offers grain services, feed, fertilizer, crop protection and seed resources with a professional staff and superior facilities. Further agronomic opportunities in soil mapping, site-specific field management and precision technology services are offered through their Precision Ag department. In 1973, members of farmer’s cooperatives in Badger and Vincent agreed to merge, creating NEW (Northeast Webster County) Cooperative, Inc. During their first operational year, Duncombe farmers voted to add their rail location to the mix. By 1978, NEW Cooperative expanded to include locations in Fort Dodge, Otho, and Roelyn. Clare and Barnum joined, creating a county-wide structure, in 1980. Over the next few years Knierim, Lohrville, Rands, Palmer, Pomeroy, and Knoke joined the expanding network of NEW locations. Humboldt joined in 1995 and co-op members in Bode and Lu Verne voted to merge with NEW Cooperative in 2002. By 2005, Woolstock and Blairsburg farmers had joined with membership, and two years later Glidden, Lanesboro, and Lidderdale were members. 22 20 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021
to grow with locations near Jefferson, Coon Rapids, Cooper, Dows, and Rowan. In 2015 their buying power and technology services
the area surrounding Blencoe, Correctionville,
PORT OF BLENCOE – A GATEWAY TO THE WORLD MARKET
Mapleton, Onawa, Pierson, Sloan, Turin, Washta, and Whiting. In 2017 A new pelleting feed mill opened in Pomeroy and the Board of Directors approved the plans to build another feed mill in Rowan to become operational in the summer of 2018. The membership of Berne Cooperative, headquartered in Ute, with another elevator location in Mapleton, voted to sell their assets to NEW Cooperative and became a part of the NEW family on August 1st, 2018. Then, in September, they added Anthon to their family.
On August 1st, 2021, MaxYield Cooperative merged with NEW Cooperative, adding a over 20 locations in northwest and central Iowa to NEW Cooperative. The NEW Cooperative, Inc. Foundation has a focus of donating to organizations that provide agricultural education, and the organizations and civic activities that enhance the quality of life in their members’ hometowns.
By the fall of 2020, NEW Cooperative began construction of a 3-million-bushel grain facility along with adding 500ton Feed Mill to the Cooper location. The Cooper facility will begin taking corn this fall and begin producing feed in early 2022. NEW Cooperative also announced and began construction at Port of Blencoe. Now operational, the port has the capacity to load and unload up to nine barges at a time. The Port of Blencoe brings the world market to Iowa.
NEW Cooperative generously gives back to the community throughout the year with donations or organizations like 4-H, county fairs and fire departments. Locally, the Fort Dodge office has operated Hams for Hunger program, handing out free hams at Christmas time for the last four years. In June of 2021, they presented the Trinity Foundation for the Radiating Hope capital campaign with a donation to help purchase a new linear accelerator and vault for the Trinity Cancer Center. The service and solutions found at
NEW Cooperative demonstrate that they continue to be an innovative and efficient provider for today’s producer.
PHOTOS BY NEW COOPERATIVE, INC. 23 September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 21
Helping Families Connect, Honor & Remember
DART / Pathfinders is proud to provide service to the Fort Dodge Area + 5 Counties!
Janet Hubbell Licensed Funeral Director Pre-Planning Consultant Certiﬁed Celebrant Employed Since 2002
Our Routes Stop at the: Doctor • Store • School • Downtown Also the
FOR SCHEDULES AND MORE INFORMATION CALL:
Office Hours: M-F 8am to 5pm
We support our Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance!
Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way BY WYNDHAM
ALL the Amenities to feel at Home! 2938 5th Ave. South (Bus. 20) • Fort Dodge 515-573-5000 • (800) 337-0550 baymontinns.com • wyndhamhotels.com
Investing in our community to enhance quality of life and to build stronger youth - stronger families – and a stronger community
24 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021 22
Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau
FORT DODGE IS RECRUITING AND SUPPORTING CONFERENCES AND MULTI-DAY MEETINGS One of the most effective strategies the Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau has to bring visitors to Fort Dodge is recruiting and supporting conferences and multi-day meetings
Kerrie Kuiper is the executive director for the Convention and Visitors Bureau
in the community. Most conferences and meetings choose Fort Dodge because a local organization, member, or volunteer has agreed to host the event. We are very grateful for the commitment that these organizations or volunteers have undertaken. Conferences and meetings are also an opportunity to showcase the community. This October, Fort Dodge will host two conferences that will bring in attendees from throughout the State of Iowa. This will be a great time to showcase the positives of Fort Dodge and work to change any misconceptions people may have of our community. During October 10-13, the Iowa State Police Association will be holding its annual conference. Thank you to the Fort Dodge Police Association for organizing this event to bring approximately 150 law enforcement representatives to Fort Dodge for training, learning, and networking. On October 18-20, Main Street, Iowa, will be holding their fall workshop. This workshop will bring 70 representatives from every Main Street Iowa community, Main Street Iowa staff, and Travel Iowa staff. A special thank you to Main Street Fort Dodge for being the local liaison to make all the local arrangements. If the Fort Dodge CVB can assist a group that wants to host a conference or meeting, don’t hesitate to contact the Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau at email@example.com or 573-4282.
September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 23 25
Soldier Creek Fall Celebration Set for September 18th By Anne Kersten
Soldier Creek Winery is gearing up for their annual fall Harvest Festival, to be held on Saturday, September 18th. The 6th annual event is from 11:00 am till 8:00 pm and promises to have something for everyone. Twist and Shout met with Megan Secor, who is part of the innovative family that owns and operates Soldier Creek Winery. She is thrilled that the event can be held this year, “we are so excited to once again celebrate our fall grape harvest with the community,” she said. “We have so many things going on- with something for the whole family.” She said they ‘kick-off ’ the day at 11:30 with the ‘Grape run or walk”. And the ‘Open Air market’. “People can do a one mile loop through the vineyard with wine tastings along the way.” She said they can do as many loops as they want. The ‘Vendor Market ‘ is made up of curators and makers who are showcasing their products. “This could be artwork, metal works, clothing and even baked goods,” said Secor. “You’re sure to find a treasure!”
GRAPE STOMP TOURNAMENT “We are also very excited to have one of the largest ‘grape stomp tournaments’ in the area.,” she said. There will be 16 teams of two people each, where one person ‘stomps’ and the other person ‘catches’; the juice in a pitcher. The first team to reach the designated spot on the pitcher moves on to the final round. “The champions of the first round will win a bottle of wine, before moving on to the final round.” Secor said the final 4 teams compete to win a case
26 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021 24
of wine. “For the people that missed out on this event at the State Fair can do it here,” she said. To participate in the Grape Stomp you have to be 21 or older, and it’s $30 per team. “Each team gets two ‘exclusive’ (to this event) tee shirts.”
The activities and celebrations at the Vineyard never stop.
LIVE MUSIC, FOOD TRUCKS AND VINEYARD HAY RIDES ALL DAY! Live music will be going on throughout the day, with Clint Riedel, an acoustic solo entertainer kicking things off at 11:00 am. He is followed by the jazz band, J. Jeffrey Messerole, with the “Need Freeley Funn Band” bringing things to an end.
There is live music every Friday throughout the entire year, craft nights throughout the school year, and Bingo on select Sundays. www.soldiercreek winery.com
Food trucks offering their delicious fare include Celly’s Curbside Café, Grin iron Grill and Pliners Kettle Korn. Vineyard Hay Rides will be traveling around and through the vineyards. “We find that all ages love the hayrides, They have an opportunity to learn the history of the vineyard and ultimately where the grapes come from.” She said that during the hay rides you will enjoy the uninterrupted time with one of the founders of the Vineyard “ who will answer all your questions.” And Secor added, “There’s no cover charge! For any of this top notch entertainment.” Secor concluded saying, “This is our favorite- and most beautiful time of the year, giving us a chance to thank our winery friends and family. We invite you to celebrate our harvest, enjoy the picturesque vineyards, and make wonderful memories with your friends and family. For me, it’s all about the memories.”
September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 25 27
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Fort Dodge Community Foundation and UNITED WAY
I’M HAPPY TO BE BACK IN FORT DODGE “Alone, we can do so little;
Pack Go!), I worried my kids would miss out
together we can do so much”
on educational experiences, social interac-
tions with a diverse community or even fun times at places like the children’s museum
A simple quote, but a perfect depiction of
and local zoo. It was extremely petty, but very
the magnitude of what I have come to see
in Fort Dodge and Webster County in my new role as program coordinator with the
In June of 2019 we made the official move.
United Way of Greater Fort Dodge and the
While trepidation still haunted me, I quick-
Fort Dodge Community Foundation. Along
ly was overcome with gratitude. From week
with our partner agencies, the United Way
one, neighbors reached out to introduce
and the Community Foundation offers a
themselves and brought treats for the kids,
wide selection of programs and services that
friends and family invited us to gatherings so
really bring our community together and
we could meet more people and expand our
help those most in need. I could not be more
social circle, and our church community wel-
proud to be part of this team and to be raising
comed us with open arms. My fear - of a small
my family in Fort Dodge.
I hesitate to admit, but this was not always my
ing of outsiders
feeling. I was born and raised here, attended
attitude -was com-
college in Iowa, but then went off to conquer
the world. And, while I had amazing adven-
and could not have
tures and learned a lot in my professional ca-
been further from
reer, I always slightly missed the hometown
feel that Iowa offered. Fast forward to 2018 when my husband and I made the decision to
Today, I see the
move back to Iowa to be closer to my parents.
exact same senti-
At least verbally I told everyone that, but in
ment when helping
actuality, I put off house hunting and school
with the various
district shopping as long as I could.
programs of the United Way and
The thing was, I was fearful of the change. I
our partner agencies. So many providers and
questioned if Fort Dodge could provide the
agencies are waiting to help with open arms.
opportunities we were leaving behind in the
Programs such as Meals on Wheels that help
larger city. Moving from Green Bay, WI (Go
deliver food to the homebound, Bridging the
30 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021 28
Julie Piton Program Coordinator Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way
Gap that helps families with free furniture so every-
rience and never once have my kiddos complained
one has a bed to sleep on at night, and Wheels to
about the things I was worried that they would miss,
Work that matches individuals with donated vehicles
because they were too busy enjoying all of the new
to get to work or school, are just a few examples of
experiences we found here.
the way our community is working together to help those in need. The list of support and assistance is so
So ask! Do not make assumptions like I did. If you
much more and includes things like job training and
need help from a program, ask! If you have the
preparation, education assistance, securing housing,
means to help with a program, ask!
food assistance and affordable daycare. I promise when you do reach out from whatever The key is, all you need to do is ask. Asking for help
side of the situation you are on, you will always be
can sometimes be the hardest or scariest part of the
greeted with open arms and compassion. That is the
journey. It sometimes makes us feel uncomfortable
Fort Dodge and Webster County way. Because, this
or vulnerable. At least, that is how I felt when ex-
is a community working together on so many great
ploring our move back to town. And, while it would
have been easier to stay in our own little silo and inside our house, my family would have missed out
And, if you’re asked to support United Way, I hope
on so many amazing people and experiences that
you will do so - I can promise your charitable dona-
Fort Dodge and Webster County have to offer. I can
tion will be used to support important causes.
honestly say moving back has been a fantastic expe-
31 September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 29
Business Connection Economic Pulse Mortgage Interest Rates
Building Permits 150
Source: Edward Jones
Rates average of those reported by Fort Dodge financial institutions
Monthly in your Messenger
30 Year Fixed 15 Year Fixed
Source: Fort Dodge Planning Office
Airline Boardings Source: Fort Dodge Regional Airport
To advertise in the Business Connection Contact your Messenger Sales Consultant!
Auto & Truck Sales Cars Source: Webster County Motor Vehicle Dept. Trucks
125 100 75 50
30 32 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • September 2021
Edward Jones Financial Focus
PREPARE YOURSELF FINANCIALLY FOR ILLNESS … JUST IN CASE All of us hope to live long, healthy lives, so we do what we can to take care of ourselves through proper diet, exercise and avoiding unhealthy activities. However, none of us can predict our future, so it pays to be prepared for anything – including a serious physical illness or the onset of some type of mental incapacity, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, you may never face these infirmities, but you should be aware that they could upset your long-term financial strategy and place considerable stress on your loved ones. What steps can you take to head off these threats? First, make sure you know what your health insurance covers and how much you might have to pay out of pocket for treatment of illnesses such as cancer or kidney ailments. If you’re on Medicare (supplemented with Medigap) or Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C), you’ll want to know all about deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. However, if Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia is involved, Medicare may not cover the costs that could be incurred in an assisted living facility, so you may want to consult with a financial advisor, who can suggest ways
of protecting yourself from long-term care costs, which can be quite high. Your next move is to make sure you have adequate liquidity. It’s hard to predict how many out-of-pocket costs you could incur when coping with a serious illness, but it’s a good idea to have enough cash readily available, rather than dipping into your 401(k) or other retirement accounts. So, if you’re retired, you might want to keep up to a year’s worth of living expenses in a liquid, low-risk account. Here’s another important step: Update your estate plan. Hopefully, if you have a serious illness, you’ll be able to recover. But it’s still a good idea to review your estate plan to ensure everything is in order, such as your will and your living trust, if you’ve created one. If you’ve kept up your life insurance, you’ll also want to ensure your premiums are still being paid. And don’t forget to review your beneficiary designations on your 401(k), insurance policies and other financial documents, since these designations can supersede the instructions in your will.
As part of your estate planning, you may want to include a durable power of attorney for finances, which allows you to name someone to manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated, and a durable power of attorney for health care, which lets you name someone to make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to do so yourself. You may also create a health care directive or living will to express your wishes if you don’t have a power of attorney for health care, or the person named in a power of attorney for health care can’t be reached in an emergency. And since estate planning can be complex, you’ll certainly want to work with a legal professional, and possibly your tax and financial advisors, as well. You might think it’s somewhat grim to prepare yourself financially in case you become seriously ill or if your life is touched by Alzheimer’s or another mental infirmity. But it’s a positive move – you’re protecting yourself and your loved ones from whatever life may throw at you.
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. 33 September 2021 • FORT DODGE BUSINESS CONNECTION • 31
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