Science & Technology
Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds announce Connect Every Iowan broadband initiative PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Tim Albrecht   
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 12:40

STEM Committee charged with developing legislative recommendations, strategic plan


(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today unveiled their new “Connect Every Iowan” initiative to increase the access, adoption, and use of broadband technology.

The governor and lt. governor have asked the existing STEM Advisory Council’s Broadband Committee to develop legislative recommendations to encourage broadband build-out throughout Iowa, particularly in unserved or underserved areas.  The committee’s first meeting will be Sept. 10, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., at the ICN Conference Room on the 2nd floor of the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Its recommendations are expected to be delivered by December 1, 2013.

The committee has also been asked to develop a long-term strategic plan for broadband by January 1, 2015, and to identify and pursue any possible federal funding opportunities or public private partnerships.

“We want to make Iowa the most connected state in the Midwest,” said Branstad.

Currently Iowa ranks 11th out of 12 Midwestern states on the TechNet State Broadband Index, behind neighboring states such as Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Illinois. The index is compiled from three measures: The household adoption rate of broadband, network speeds of available broadband infrastructure, and the amount of jobs in information and communication technology industries that benefit from broadband technology.

“I’m confident Iowans all across the state will benefit from the initiative – most importantly, more broadband access means more jobs for Iowans,” said Branstad.

According to a study conducted by the Brookings Institute, for every one percentage point increase in broadband technology penetration into a state, employment is projected to increase by 0.2 to 0.3 percent per year.

“We need to make sure rural Iowa has the tools to stay connected, because connectivity is the great equalizer,” said Reynolds. “Connectivity will allow us to preserve rural Iowa, while keeping us competitive with other states for economic development projects. We believe every Iowan – from students, to small business owners, to rural health care providers, to public safety officers – can benefit from this initiative to increase the access, adoption, and use of broadband technology.”

The STEM Advisory Council’s Broadband Committee will be co-chaired by John Carver, Superintendent of Howard-Winneshiek Community School District, and Robert von Wolffradt, the State Chief Information Officer.  Administrative support and technical expertise will be provided by Amy Kuhlers of Connect Iowa, a non-profit organization which is working in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority to ensure that all can experience the benefits of broadband.t

Members of the STEM Advisory Council’s Broadband Committee:

Co-Chair John Carver, Superintendent, Howard-Winneshiek Community School District

Co-Chair Robert von Wolffradt, Chief Information Officer, State of Iowa

Amy Kuhlers, Program Manager, Connect Iowa

Robert Denson, President, Des Moines Area Community College

Dave Duncan, President, Iowa Telecommunication Association

Philip Groner, Iowa Communication Network

Karl Hehr, Director of Technology Services, Ames Community Schools District

Galen Howsare, Chief Financial Officer, Iowa Association of School Boards

Karen Randall, Keystone Area Education Association

Michael Sadler, Assistant VP for Public Policy & Government Relations

Larry Siegel, Iowa School Finance and Information System Services

Jeff Weld, Executive Director, Governor’s STEM Advisory Council

Josh Byrnes, State Representative, District 14


For more information:


Governor’s office releases appointments made to Governor’s STEM Advisory Council PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Office of the Governor of the State of Iowa   
Friday, 30 August 2013 12:26

(DES MOINES) – The governor’s office today released a list of appointments to the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.  All appointments will take effect September 1, 2013.

Kacia Cain, Indianola

John Carver, Cresco

Jordan Cohen, Iowa City

Robert Denson, Ankeny

Ryan Drew, Burlington

Mary Beth Hockstedler, Iowa City

AnnElyse Howard, Clive

Jordan Lampe, Sausalito, Calif.

Valerie Newhouse, Emmetsburg

Robert “Kelly” Ortberg, Cedar Rapids

Mark Putnam, Pella

Macenzie Rubin, Ankeny

Johnathan Wickert, Ames

Gail Wortmann, Bloomfield

Isa Zimmerman, Boston, Mass.


Governor Quinn Announces $1.5 Million to Build Ultra High Speed Broadband Network in Southern Illinois PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Brooke Anderson   
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 09:03

State Investment in Innovation and Cutting Edge Jobs will Fuel Economic Growth

CARBONDALE - Governor Pat Quinn today announced an investment of $1.5 million to build an ultra high speed broadband network in Southern Illinois. The partnership between Frontier North, Inc., the City of Carbondale, Southern Illinois University and Connect SI will use the funding to build a gigabit network that will serve residents, businesses and institutions in Southern Illinois. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to drive economic growth and create jobs across Illinois.

“Ultra high-speed internet access is a key to success for the future of Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “In order to remain competitive in today’s digital society, Illinois must have broadband infrastructure second to none.”

The $1.5 million investment – supported by the Governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program – provides funding for Frontier to build a high-speed fiber optic network to Carbondale’s businesses, schools, hospitals and neighborhoods. The gigabit broadband, up to 100 times faster than speeds currently available, will help recruit new business to the region and enable Southern Illinois University’s scholars, innovators and entrepreneurs to connect globally. Capabilities for telemedicine and telehealth through the University’s School of Medicine will also impact citizens in underserved areas in Southern Illinois and allow for faster transmission of medical records and vital information.

"The best part of the Governor's grant is that it isn't about fiber optics and lasers; it is about a world class community network built to drive jobs and new opportunities for  Carbondale and the region,” Frontier Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Flynn said. “Frontier Communications couldn't be more proud to be a part of this community effort as we work every day to provide advancing broadband services across all of Southern Illinois."

“Southern Illinois has a long history as a leader in broadband,” Broadband Illinois Interim Executive Director Brad Housewright said. “Through the efforts of Connect SI, Frontier and stakeholders from business and industry, we’re excited to build a public-private partnership around this initiative.”

Governor Quinn was also joined today by top executives and employees from Clearwave Communications, a Harrisburg company that just completed another high-speed connectivity project in Southern Illinois. The project used $11.3 million in state funds, as well as federal and private dollars, to install 751 miles of fiber in 23 counties connecting 232 community anchor institutions.

Governor Quinn has invested more than $71 million in broadband infrastructure throughout the state as part of his Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program. This investment has leveraged more than $214 million in additional funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Through these projects, more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable has been installed, with more to come.

Today’s Carbondale announcement represents the fourth major Gigabit Communities Challenge broadband infrastructure project announced since Governor Quinn took office in 2009. Supported by the Governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program, the Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge sought proposals from private and public organizations to encourage promising ultra high-speed broadband deployment projects throughout Illinois. Each project must connect at least 1,000 end users to Gigabit broadband speeds.

For more information, visit www.Gigabit.Illinois.Gov


Top Tractors and Technology Tapped for Tribute at Iowa State Fair PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 12 August 2013 14:37
DES MOINES, IA (08/12/2013)(readMedia)-- FFA Agricultural Mechanics Technology projects were judged Friday at the 2013 Iowa State Fair. Youth from across the state were recognized for their outstanding exhibits.

Projects were judged on the basis of workmanship, design, usefulness, appearance and safety. Restored tractors were judged on appearance, mechanical work, safety and documentation. Oral presentations by the exhibitor were also considered in the judging of all projects.

Complete results below:

First Year Tractor Exhibitor

1) Cassidy Simmons, Guthrie Center

2) Logan Adair, Truro

3) Scott Evans, Iowa Falls

1958 and Prior

1) Jarad Taylor, New Virginia

2) Collin Fenneman, Clarksville

3) Jacob Miller, Dixon

1959 and Later

1) Matt Tekippe, Manchester

2) Meghan Miller, Dixon

3) Jacob Miller, Dixon

Group of 2 or More Tractor

1) Meghan Miller, Dixon

2) Mount Ayr FFA

3) Dalton Webster, Sigourney

Champion Restored Tractor: Matt Tekippe, Manchester

Restored Farm Equipment

1) Calvin Richardson, Tama

2) Kyle Huber, Wellman

3) Samantha Urmie, Long Grove

Computer Designed Project

1) Derek Anderson, Garner

2) Angela Delariva, Ellsworth

Metal Working/Welding – Small

1) Natalie Johnson, Murray

2) Kayla Kuhnle, Marengo

3) Trevor Stevenson, Wheatland

Metal Working/Welding – Medium

1) Marshal Wilz, Eddyville

2) Matthew Sturges, Rockwell

3) Zachary Neff, Fremont

Metal Working/Welding – Large

1) Bradley Ver Steegh, Oskaloosa

2) Bradley Ver Steegh, Oskaloosa

3) Ben Offenburger, Chariton

Woodworking – Indoor

1) Jami Wiesen, Shenandoah

2) Dylan Riedesel, DeWitt

3) Christian Jorgensen, Griswold

Woodworking – Outdoor

1) Brent Ver Steegh, Oskaloosa

2) Briana Ver Steegh, Oskaloosa

3) Cassidy Simmons, Guthrie Center

"Nothing Compares" to the 2013 Iowa State Fair, August 8-18. The Fairgrounds are located at East 30th and East University Avenue, just 10 minutes east of downtown Des Moines, and are open 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. each day of the Fair. Exhibit hours may vary. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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News Releases - Science & Technology
Written by Andrew Wheeler   
Monday, 05 August 2013 14:46

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA –August 5, 2013- Iowa Farm Bureau members are now eligible to save 10 percent on flexible, no-contract mobile phone plans through a new exclusive partnership with Iowa-based wireless provider, Ready Mobile.

Individual and family plans are offered to Farm Bureau members starting at $13.50 per month with no contracts for subscribers to sign and the ability to change plans at any time without penalty.

To kick off the new partnership, Ready Mobile representatives will be in Farm Bureau Park from 8 a.m. to  8 p.m. every day of the Iowa State Fair, which runs August 8 to 18.  Fairgoers can register to win a free smartphone, given away daily by Ready Mobile.  Fairgoers can also check out the selection of basic, keyboard, and smartphones on display and visit with Ready Mobile about their phone plans and exclusive discounts for Iowa Farm Bureau members.

The Hiawatha-based company provides wireless service on a national, multi-carrier network platform with coverage across the state.  Founded in 2004, Ready Wireless, LLC, was named amongst the Fastest Growing Businesses in Iowa in 2009, 2010, and 2011 by the Corridor Business Journal.  “Ready Mobile no contract service puts control in the hands of our customers.  They can manage their plans to meet changing lifestyles and needs,” said Ready Mobile Executive Vice President and Co-founder Fred Haumesser.  “We’re proud to partner with Iowa Farm Bureau and offer a variety of plan choices to meet the needs of Farm Bureau members who want nationwide coverage and are looking for a budget-friendly, lower-cost alternative to traditional wireless phone plans.”

For more information, call Ready Mobile’s exclusive toll-free number for Farm Bureau members at 855-327-2661 to learn more and place an order.  Download more information on the plans and phones at  Subscribers will need to provide the promotion code FB123NOW and Iowa Farm Bureau membership number to qualify for the exclusive savings.


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

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