2014 Upper Midwest Regional Master Gardener Conference Registration PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Monday, 17 March 2014 10:05
Registration is now open for the 2014 Upper Midwest Regional Master Gardener Conference on June 25-28 at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa. The bi-annual conference is open to Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska and Missouri active Master Gardeners and their friends. The event will feature speakers, seminars, tours, vendors, a silent auction and more. Nationally known keynote speakers include Felder Rushing, Lauren Springer-Ogden, Scott Odgen, Melinda Myers and LoriAnne Barnett. The event is sponsored by the Iowa State University Extension and the Outreach Master Gardener Program.

More information is available by calling the Iowa State University Scott County Extension & Outreach Office at 563-359-7577, visiting the website at or by liking us on FaceBook.


Iowa Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa Program Expands Offering for Iowa Entrepreneurs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Andrew Wheeler   
Friday, 14 March 2014 08:25

IFBF Has Invested More than $80 million in Rural Iowa in a Decade

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – March 11, 2014 -- Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa program, which has helped more than 2,500 Iowans successfully own and grow their business since the program launched in 2006, is bringing new offerings to Iowa entrepreneurs in 2014.  New seminar content, online curriculum, exclusive peer forums for those who qualify and financial advice are now available to Iowa entrepreneurs to help grow their existing business.

“We’re excited about the new offerings to our program this year that will feature ‘the best of the best’ national business leaders, including Mike Kleis, president of Renaissance Executive Forums of Iowa, and Joel Bennett, lead consultant with Veel Hoeden Consulting, to help rural Iowa businesses flourish,” said Sandy Ehrig, IFBF economic development administrator. “IFBF has always believed that strong, vibrant rural communities are the fabric of Iowa and we are committed to helping them thrive for the long-term; that’s why we’ve invested more than $80 million in rural communities in the last decade.”

The online curriculum, Renew Rural Iowa Pathways, is available at and is designed to provide entrepreneurs with advice and critical business data needed to hire and retain the best employees and also help entrepreneurs put together a profitable business plan.  “Pathways offers guidance in areas of organization management, marketing and sales, product and service, financials and funding and even exit strategies,” said Ehrig.  “Pathways curriculum can be customized, too, so you have a menu of options for training that suit your needs whether you’re in manufacturing, retail or service industries.  A live concierge is also available for individual consultation.”

“Select business owners who attend a Renew Rural Iowa seminar and wish to grow themselves and their business can apply to join exclusive peer forums after completing an interview and assessment.  These peer forums enable business leaders to learn from each other in a confidential environment and enhance their ability to lead their business.  Integrity, quality, profitability and people are the foundations for a successful future and that is the life goal of all who participate in our special peer forums,” said Ehrig.

Organizers say those who work with Renew Rural Iowa in 2014 will learn how to identify the obstacles to their business growth and find new pathways to success.  Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative, launched in 2006, to support new and existing businesses through education, mentoring, and financial resources.  More than 35 seminars have been held around the state since then, connecting entrepreneurs, business leader mentors and finance opportunities.  For more information, go to                               

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About Iowa Farm Bureau
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa. More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity. For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at

ISU Extension Calendar PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Amanda Heitz   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 10:03
March 21, 2014 Pesticide Applicator Testing, Scott County Extension Office, 10:00-2:00 pm

March 25, 2014 Scott County Extension Council Meeting, Scott County Extension Office, 7:00 pm

March 26, 2014 Certified Handlers, Scott County Extension Office, 9:00-11:30 am

Gov. Branstad joins lawsuit opposing a California law that discriminates against Iowa egg producers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Tuesday, 11 March 2014 08:06

Takes a stand for Iowa farmers against unconstitutional California law


(DES MOINES) – Gov. Branstad today joined a lawsuit in the Eastern District of California opposing California’s egg-production law that discriminates against Iowa’s egg producers.

Gov. Branstad, along with other five other states, argues that California’s egg-production law is unconstitutional and violates the commerce clause.

“The burdensome law from the State of California effectively regulates the industry across state lines, hurts Iowa agriculture and is detrimental to Iowa egg producers,” said Branstad. “Iowa is by far the leading egg producing state in the nation. This law is an unwarranted burden being imposed on Iowa’s producers by another state and violates the interstate commerce clause of the United States Constitution.”

Iowa’s egg farmers lead the nation in egg production by producing nearly 15 billion eggs per year.  Almost one out of every five eggs produced in the United States are produced in Iowa.  The Iowa egg industry contributes about $2 billion in total sales and impacts about 8,000 jobs.

“Governor Branstad and I know a strong agricultural economy is critical to our continued economic growth,” said Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. “California’s law adversely affects Iowa agricultural jobs and we believe its negative effects and regulations felt by egg producers across the country is a violation of the commerce clause. We’re pleased that Democrats and Republicans are coming together in support of agriculture and against onerous regulations.”

The lawsuit, which was filed by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and co-signed by the attorney generals of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky and Gov. Branstad, argues that the court should rule that California’s law violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.  The commerce clause prohibits any state from enacting legislation that regulates conduct wholly outside its borders, protects its own citizens from out-of-state competition, or places undue burdens on interstate commerce.

“California’s effort to unconstitutionally limit the ability of Iowa farmers to access California’s consumers must be stopped.   I support all efforts to uphold the right of Iowa farmers to sell their products, including eggs, in every state free from unconstitutional restraints imposed by any state,” said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

California’s law puts unnecessary burdens on Iowa farms which could force some Iowa farmers out of business.

Facts about Iowa egg production

  • Iowa is the number on state in egg production.  Iowa farmers produce over 14.4 billion eggs per year.
  • Approximately 9.1% of those eggs - 1.07 billion eggs per year - are sold in California.
  • Iowa farmers export more eggs to California than any other state.
  • 30% of the eggs imported to California are produced in Iowa.

The full Amended Complaint can be read here.



For more information, please visit

Soy Checkoff Honors Orf, Muench for Research Contributions PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by United Soybean Board   
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 13:30

ST. LOUIS (March 3, 2014) – The soy checkoff recently presented its highest honors to two men: one who has devoted more than 30 years developing new soybean varieties that U.S. soybean farmers are using in their fields today and another who helped pioneer the soy checkoff’s groundbreaking production-research program.

The soy checkoff presented its Outstanding Achievement Award to University of Minnesota researcher and educator James Orf, Ph.D. Orf is credited with creating more than 50 general-purpose soybean varieties, as well as more than 60 special-purpose varieties in use throughout Minnesota.

The soy checkoff’s Excellence in Meal Award went to Stephen Muench, Ph.D., who for 15 years served as a liaison between United Soybean Board (USB) and many of the scientists conducting checkoff-funded research before retiring in 2013. Muench helped lay the foundation for USB’s production-research activities and was instrumental in the development of USB’s soybean composition breeding programs, which served as the beginning of the Better Bean Initiative, the beginning of USB’s efforts at soybean quality improvement.

“This is a great honor, and it makes me want to work even harder to make sure that the things I do have value not only for the farmers who grow soybeans, but for all consumers who use these products,” says Orf.

The 70 farmer-directors of USB oversee the investments of the soy checkoff to maximize profit opportunities for all U.S. soybean farmers. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds to increase the value of U.S. soy meal and oil, to ensure U.S. soybean farmers and their customers have the freedom and infrastructure to operate, and to meet the needs of U.S. soy’s customers. As stipulated in the federal Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for USB and the soy checkoff.

For more information on the United Soybean Board, visit
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