"Big Three" Seed Companies, Environmental, Industry Experts Among Featured Speakers

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA - Nov. 17, 2009 - Iowa farmers find themselves at a crossroads, faced with state and federal budget cuts, a downturned economy and difficult commodity markets.  These challenges impact not just farmers, but all Iowans who depend on the continued availability of safe, affordable food grown right here in Iowa.  These and many other issues will be discussed at Iowa Farm Bureau Federation's (IFBF) 91st annual meeting Dec. 2 and 3 at the Polk County Convention Center in Des Moines.  The meeting will be held in conjunction with Iowa Farm Bureau Week (Nov. 29 - Dec. 5), as proclaimed by Governor Culver.

"Iowa Farm Bureau's 91st annual meeting theme, 'Right Time, Right Now,' is a perfect testament to the challenges facing Iowa farmers as they work to provide food, fiber and energy for a growing world population," says IFBF President Craig Lang.  "Our members believe we stand on the precipice of great opportunity, provided we take the time, 'right now,' to make some tough decisions for the betterment of all." Lang will speak with members about the difficulties facing the state and its farmers and opportunities to meet them during his annual address on Dec. 3.  The address will start at 8 a.m., opening Thursday's general session.

Guests from Monsanto, Pioneer, Syngenta, Heartland Power REC, Iowa Office of Energy Independence, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), National Soil Tilth Lab and Iowa State University (ISU) will also join the conversation, offering their insights during panel discussions:
Tracy Blackmer of ISA, Jerry Hatfield of National Soil Tilth Lab and Matt Helmers of ISU will discuss reducing nitrogen use Dec. 2 from 2 - 3 p.m.
Roger Tjarks of Heartland Power, Greg Watkins of Iowa Office of Energy Independence and Kenric Scheevel of Dairyland Power will discuss issues surrounding the regulation and transmission of electricity Dec. 2 from 3 - 4 p.m.

Sam Eathington of Monsanto, Bill Niebur of Pioneer and Ben Hable of Syngenta will discuss emerging seed technology Dec. 3 from 10:30 a.m. - noon.  
Third generation logger Bruce Vincent provides the keynote address Dec. 3 at 9 a.m.  Vincent, a longtime logger and promoter of socially responsible business, is President of Communities for a Great Northwest, Executive Director of Provider Pals and co-owner of Environomics.  Vincent's message encourages farmers to share their expertise as food providers, environmental protectors and animal caretakers with the consumer public that depends on them.

The IFBF annual meeting also celebrates the contributions of Farm Bureau members with a recognition luncheon on Dec. 2 and a young farm leaders achievement luncheon on Dec. 3.  The meeting will also feature an industry trade show and evening entertainment.  Mulberry Lane, a quartet of sisters from Omaha, will perform a holiday concert at the Polk County Convention Center the evening of Dec. 2.

Farm Bureau will wrap up its annual meeting with a voting delegate session on Dec. 3.  At that time, the delegates will hold elections.  The following directors are up for re-election this year: Craig Lang, president; Carlton Kjos, District 1 director; Phil Sundblad, District 3 director; and Richard Merrill, District 5 director.  In addition, the county delegates will elect nine farmers to represent Iowa as delegates to the American Farm Bureau Federation annual meeting in Seattle, Wash., Jan 10 - 13.

Members can register for the 2009 IFBF annual meeting at their county Farm Bureau offices.  For more information about the 2009 Farm Bureau annual meeting, visit http://www.iowafarmbureau.com/images/ammtg.pdf.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -At the invitation of Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Randy Babbitt, Quad City International Airport Director of Aviation Bruce Carter, A.A.E., joined AAAE President Chip Barclay, A.A.E., and other aviation industry leaders today in a full day of discussions on critical aviation issues in Washington, D.C.

Carter was among several airport leaders in attendance at the invitation-only DOT Aviation Forum, convened to facilitate high-level discussions among industry stakeholders on the state of U.S. aviation. Among the issues discussed were the pending FAA reauthorization bill, airport funding issues including Passenger Facility Charges, the Next Generation Air Transportation System, and environmental challenges. Other topics included oil speculation, airline financial stability and international airline alliances.

Carter joined representatives from other airports, industry trade groups, airlines, labor unions, and key corporate stakeholders in helping assess the industry's current status and how to improve it.

After opening remarks from Secretary LaHood and Administrator Babbitt, attendees heard from three panels of experts on the "State of the Industry," "Events Shaping the Future of the Industry," and "Areas for Future Work."

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ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE (www.aaae.org) is the world's largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's 5,000-plus members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C., and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities, including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.

Davenport, IA - Russell Construction is proud to announce the recent promotion of Susan Burroughs from Financial Accountant to Accounting Department Manager. Her new responsibilities include oversight and supervision of staff, management of accounting department functions, and collaboration with the Chief Financial Officer to complete financial statements.

As a seasoned Russell Construction employee, Susan has been with the company for 10 years, eight of which were in her previous role as a Financial Accountant. Initially, Susan served as an accounts payable clerk for two years. Her dedication to excellence has earned her this valuable promotion.

Angela Bagby, the Director of Marketing & Client Relations at Russell was recently selected by 24 of her peers to receive the Young Professional (YP) of the Year Award. This award is given on behalf of The Network, a Quad Cities initiative of the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce and the Iowa Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce to recognized leadership, talent and community involvement.

Your browser may not support display of this image.Angela has been deeply involved with The Network, serving on the Leadership Council, as well as an instrumental leader behind the inaugural i.network program which engages young professional interns outside the four walls of their workplace and college campus in hopes that they will stay in the Quad Cities upon graduation. Angela is also involved with the American Heart Association, Family Resources and United Way.

Judy Cushman, Executive Assistant to Jim Russell, was honored at the 22nd Annual Older Employee of the Year Awards Ceremony, as an Employee of Merit, from the Generations Area Agency on Aging, located in Davenport, IA. Judy, alongside twelve other individuals and one employer, were honored at an awards ceremony on November 10, 2009.

Judy has been with Russell for six years and serves as an integral employee, assisting Jim Russell, the Executive Team and Board of Directors. Her dedication to her job, impeccable organizational skills and positive attitude makes her a valuable asset to Russell.

Established in 1983, Russell Construction is a regional provider of Construction Management, Design Build and General Contracting services.  For more information on Russell Construction, please visit their corporate website at www.russellco.com.

DAVENPORT, IOWA (November 10, 2009) Admission is free for veterans on Veteran's Day, Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at the German American Heritage Center & Museum. Hours on Veteran's Day are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Current exhibits include the new interactive permanent exhibit, German-American Immigrant Experience. Visitors will enjoy an interactive experience as they explore immigrants' journeys by sea, train and foot, to their final destination at the German American Heritage Center building, which was originally a very busy hotel for thousands of immigrants in the 1860s. Two original hotel rooms are included in the exhibit. The exhibit also showcases several artifacts and contributions to the region by immigrants.


The current rotating exhibit is
"A to Zither" Exhibit. This exhibit explores the world of the zither instrument. Learn about this unique folk art instrument and the history of the Davenport Zither Ensemble.


For more information please visit www.gahc.org for photos, videos, programs, and events.


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Bettendorf, IA - Sonja Sorrel is senior media relations consultant for the Life and Health Division of the Principal Financial Group® will be speaking to local public relations, marketing and media professionals on September 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm at the Butterworth Education Center located at the corner of 7th Street and 12th Avenue, Moline, IL on behalf of the Public Relations Society of America - Quad Cities Chapter.

Sonja will be speaking about the impact the economy has had on the financial services industry and how it has changed the way they communicate. Also she will discuss what Principal did for employee communication, advertising and media relations and how it was measured. PRSA members, Local Public Relations, Marketing and Media professionals, students, and the general public are invited to hear Sonja discuss Principal's new communication techniques.

Sorrel has more than 10 years experience in strategic public relations and national media relations. She joined the company in 2004 and was promoted to her current position in 2007. She is responsible for managing media relations for all risk products including, life, health, disability and dental product lines. In her role, she conducts media outreach, executes issues management and advances thought leadership.

Prior to joining the company Sorrel was an account supervisor with Public Communications Inc, a public relations firm based in Chicago. Most of her work was concentrated on media relations for not-for-profit health care organizations, but she also represented well-known Chicago icons like Water Tower Place and the Museum of Science and Industry. Sorrel earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from Iowa State University. She serves on the communications counsel for America's Health Insurance Plans. She is also a member of the Public Relations Society of America.

The Principal Financial Group? (The Principal ®) 1 is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $257.7 billion in assets under management 2 and serves some 18.8 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www.principal.com.

Formed in 1978, the Quad Cities Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America serves public relations and communications professionals throughout the greater Quad Cities region. The chapter offers programs, resources and networking opportunities for area PRSA members.

To RSVP for this event please email Cissy Wendt, Chapter Administrator at qcprsa@gmail.com by Sept 22, 2009.

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September 10, 2009 - APAC Customer Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: APAC) a leader in global outsourced services and solutions, celebrated the expansion of its Davenport customer interaction center with a Ribbon Cutting co-hosted by Davenport's Chamber of Commerce, DavenportOne. Local dignitaries in attendance included Chamber of Commerce Red Coats, as well as past and current APAC employees.

"It's great that APAC, a world leader in outsourced services, has chosen Davenport as a place to expand its services," stated Mayor Gluba. "We welcome the job opportunities this expansion brings, especially given the full benefit package the company offers to its full time employees. Job growth in our area is terrific news given what's happening in some other part of the country."

"We've invested nearly $4 million in support of the expansion at our Davenport center," shared Mike Marrow. "There's new training rooms, lockers, landscaping, lobby updates and many other improvements that make this center a great place to work."

APAC will be hiring an additional 300 customer care agents and support professionals within the next several weeks associated with the facility build-out. Agents hired will be answering calls from consumers and assisting with product features, billing and general support. To apply for one of these full-time positions, go to www.APACjob.com/Davenport.

Overall, APAC employs over 10,000 contact center professionals throughout nine domestic and four Philippine locations. The APAC Davenport center originally opened February 1996.

About APAC

APAC Customer Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: APAC) is a leading provider of customer care services and solutions for market leaders in healthcare, business services, communications, media and publishing, travel and entertainment, and financial services industries. APAC partners with its clients to deliver custom solutions that enhance bottom line performance. For more info, call 1-800-OUTSOURCE.

APAC's comprehensive web site is http://www.apaccustomerservices.com.

APAC Davenport Contact: Tracy Beck, General Manager, Davenport, (563) 285-2812, TMBeck@APACmail.com.

APAC Marketing Contact: Bobbi Chester, Marketing Director, (847) 374-1958, BLChester@APACmail.com

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Monster Sewing, at 1465 - 41st Street in Moline, has recently opened their doors for business.  This locally owned sewing shop can take care of all of your sewing and alteration needs including handbags and purses, heavy coats, leathers and zippers. They are open Mondays thru Fridays from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment.

Give them a call at 309-716-8411 or stop in, they are located across from the Moline Viking Club.

Arnold's Body Shop in Davenport received recognition last week for leading Iowa's collision repair industry in switching to environmentally friendly water-based paint. On July 29, 2009, Governor Chet Culver honored the company at the State Capitol with the 2008 Governor's Iowa Environmental Excellence Award with the Special Recognition in Air Quality. Arnold's was the first collision repair shop in Iowa to convert its processes away from petroleum-based base coatings, reducing its output of volatile organic compounds (VOC) by 54 percent and hazardous air pollutants (HAP) by 91 percent.


"Ever since our family started this business in 1969, we have continually used the most sophisticated products and systems available to meet or exceed environmental standards," said John Arnold, CEO of Arnold's Body Shop. "Now, with water-based base coatings and improved exhaust systems that exceed EPA standards for 2011, we can repair vehicles so they're like new and safe for families as well as the planet."


Arnold said that the effort to go green involved dramatic changes for the four-person paint team. The team consists of Refinish Manager, Jeremy Gripp, who accepted the Governor's award in July, as well as paint team members Joe Schoenthaler, Aaron Houzenga and apprentice Mitch Matje.


"With an attitude of success, they implemented the new product, trained for it, learned it and made it part of a very efficient, earth-friendly process," said Arnold.


According to Arnold, the water-based paint formulas only recently became suited for midwestern climates, and Arnold's Body Shop is among the first in the region to convert. In addition to spending many hours of labor on the conversion, the company invested approximately $60,000 in new paint formulas and air-handling systems. This enabled huge reductions in VOCs and HAPs, substances that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone pollution. New fans also reduce energy consumption by curtailing the need to dry vehicle finishes with intense heat.


"Despite the dramatic changes to our process, the customer won't be able to tell the difference," said Arnold. "That's why we're eager to educate anyone with an interest in this advance in refinishing vehicles."


As education chair of the Iowa Collision Repair Association (ICRA), Arnold is volunteering to educate body shops statewide about making the water-based conversion through a series of seminars this fall. The ICRA, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Iowa Waste Reduction Center are sponsoring the seminars.



Arnold's Body Shop has served Davenport, Iowa, and the greater Quad Cities community with comprehensive collision repair since 1969. It became Iowa's first body shop to adopt environmentally friendly water-borne refinishing system in 2008. It is a member of the Automotive Service Association and the Better Business Bureau. See www.arnoldsbodyshop.com for details.

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WEST DES MOINES, IOWA - July 30, 2009 -A Humboldt company that recycles used tractor parts has been named the Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur of the Month. Hy-Capacity, founded in 1978, built a nationwide reputation as a source for agricultural clutches, water pumps and other tractor parts. Now, having grown to 24 regional warehouses and a national sales force, the owners wanted to see how they could do more to help reduce waste in the landfills.

Hy-Capacity President Steve Olson and Vice President Molly Varangkounh put together a 22-member 'Green Team' which finds creative ways to recycle just about everything the plant uses. They started by capturing rainwater from the roof and using it for the manufacturing process. They also encourage employees to carpool and bicycle to work, all in the name of reducing their 'carbon footprint.'

"In less than three months, we won recognition as a 'Zero Waste Company' thanks to a collection of efforts by employees. Together, we've done everything from convert our lighting to save energy, to switching out Styrofoam products whenever we can," said Olson

"Hy-Capacity is the kind of business that exemplifies what can be accomplished when hard work, creativity and a quest for making the world a better place all come together," said Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) Economic Development Administrator, Sandy Ehrig. "We have many exciting things coming up for Renew Rural Iowa and we think Iowa entrepreneurs will be happy to see what the program can do for them," said Ehrig.

Renew Rural Iowa will also be at the Iowa State Fair Wednesday, August 19, with their partner, Venture Net Iowa, at Farm Bureau Park from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Business experts will answer questions and connect entrepreneurs to the right resources and technical assistance to help them grow their business.  For more information about Renew Rural Iowa or upcoming Venture Net business mentoring seminars, call 800-254-9670 or or log on to the IFBF website at www.iowafarmbureau.com

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Ankeny, Iowa - Established in 1926 in Ankeny, just north of Des Moines, Mrs. Clark's has grown from a family-owned local enterprise to its current status as one of the leading food manufacturers of its type in the country.

In addition to Mrs. Clark's-brand salad dressings, mayonnaise, sauces, marinades and juices, the company does a big business in private label and co-packed food products. The business of food marketing is highly competitive, with many companies vying for limited space on supermarket shelves and in restaurant distribution facilities.  In that crowded scene, the Mrs. Clark's brand stands out in its home state, thanks to Iowa consumers who know and trust the familiar brand.
Now owned by AGRI Industries, a farmer-owned cooperative, Mrs. Clark's production facilities in Ankeny and Hendersonville, North Carolina, serve supermarkets, restaurants, schools, and other wholesale customers in the Midwestern and Southeastern states, Canada, the Caribbean, and other overseas markets.

"But even with those new and expanded product lines and markets, Mrs. Clark's heart is still in Iowa," says Michael Vaughn, sales and marketing manager.

"Our Iowa connection is a natural result of the way Mrs. Clark's does business," said Vaughn. The company is community-oriented, and has made major investments in the Ankeny production plant - a business philosophy that dates back 80 years. When Mrs. Clark first began to bottle her specialty dressings, she depended on local suppliers and distribution. As the company grew, it made sense to capitalize on that foundation of excellent local ingredients and top-notch suppliers. Mrs. Clark's location near rich Iowa farm fields and orchards ensures an abundant supply of quality ingredients like soybeans, vegetables, fruits and eggs for the Ankeny production plant.   It's important for Mrs. Clark's to maintain this competitive edge in light of the fast changes and intense competition in the food industry.

For example, the company's first product, dressings, are still a core category, but in an impressive variety that Mrs. Clark would never have imagined in the 1920s. Today's product line includes an array of traditional and trendy flavors, with spoonable and pourable salad dressings in many sizes, from familiar retail sizes to individual serving cups to large institutional packs.

In addition, the company makes mayonnaise and flavored mayonnaise, sauces, marinades, and salsa. And, in the growing juice category, Mrs. Clark's offers an array of shelf-stable juices, from familiar options like apple juice and grape juice, to blends that incorporate fruity flavors such as cranberry and pomegranate. The company's juice line also includes tomato and vegetable juices.

In the food and beverage business, however, great taste is the ultimate requirement. Mrs. Clark's staff insists on only the finest ingredients, and also works hard to develop just the right flavor profile for every product.  Often this requires striking a fine balance between traditional tastes and newer consumer trends. Vaughn says this painstaking process helps explain the popularity of Mrs. Clark's products, and he points to their barbecue sauce as an example: "It isn't too spicy, it isn't too smoky," he said. "The flavor is balanced for both cooking and dipping."

Vaughn says Mrs. Clark's is poised for the future with three corporate commitments: dedication to quality, commitment to innovation and focus on the customer.  Those goals wouldn't be possible without a strong foundation in place. With Mrs. Clark's deep Iowa roots, and with the exceptional resources the company draws on from across the state, those commitments serve as the blueprint for long-term success.

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