The previous version of the Take Five newsletter incorrectly reported the annual capacity of the Iowa Fertilizer Company plant in Wever. The annual maximum capacity is 2.2 million tons.

April 20, 2017
A five-minute summary of AAI, regulation, and industry activities for members of the largest state agribusiness association in the nation.
In This Issue
No Appeal Planned by DMWW

Last week, the Des Moines Water Works announced they would not seek an appeal in their case against ten Iowa drainage districts. Federal District Court Judge Leonard Strand dismissed the entire case in March, largely citing the Iowa Supreme Court ruling against DMWW on the state law portions of the case, and also citing federal precedent in court cases tried in the Eighth District Court of Appeals. If DMWW had chosen to appeal, the case would have gone to the Eighth District Court.

The court case was dismissed for multiple reasons, including:
  • One political subdivision cannot sue another political subdivision under Iowa law
  • Drainage districts are exempt from these sorts of lawsuits due to the narrow nature of their purpose
  • Rivers are state property - there is no property claim possible for something you do not own
  • Federal law defers to state law when it concerns property rights and concerns
The Agribusiness Association of Iowa and our members played a crucial role in the outcome of this lawsuit. Thank you to everyone who supported the Agricultural Legal Defense Fund. AgLDF is ready to advance the interests and understanding of agricultural issues in the legal arena when the need arises.

AAI will continue to promote both environmentally proven, science-based practices as part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, and flexibility for farmers to make the environmental choices that best fit their land.

Wever Fertilizer Plant Opens

The $3.7B Iowa Fertilizer Company production facility in Wever, Iowa held its inauguration this week. Agribusiness Association of Iowa CEO Joel Brinkmeyer and Board of Directors chair-elect Mark Morrissey attended the event on behalf of the association.

The official start of production at the new IFCo facility in southeast Iowa marks the conclusion of a nearly five-year project that at its peak employed more than 3500 people. Daily operations at the plant will require 200 full time employees.

The plant is capable of providing 1.7 to 2.2 million tons of fertilizer products annually.

Related News Articles: 

Winton Etchen Scholarship Deadline - April 24, 2017

As an AAI member do you have a connection to an ISU student pursuing an ag degree? 

Winton Etchen scholarship applicants must be sponsored with a letter of recommendation by an AAI member company. Applicants mus also be a resident of Iowa and a full-time student who has been accepted to ISU to pursue a degree in agriculture. You can download the 2017-2018 scholarship application here

The primary goal of the Winton Etchen Scholarship is to encourage Iowa youth to prepare for a career in agriculture. This scholarship program is designed to provide college financial assistance to a resident of Iowa or a dependent of an AAI member who chooses to study agriculture.

The AAI  Foundation will award one $1,000 scholarship to a full-time Iowa State University freshman agriculture student. If the student remains in the program, he or she is eligible for $250 in each of the following three years. The student must provide proof of full-time enrollment and maintain a 2.0 GPA. The scholarship is paid at the completion of the student's first semester each year.

Direct questions about scholarships to OR call 515-262-8323. 

Perdue Support Expected
by: The Progressive Farmer

It's likely Sonny Perdue will be up to speed on the issues facing agriculture if the Senate follows through and votes to confirm Perdue early next week.

That's the expectation of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who told reporters on Tuesday he expects Perdue to be confirmed with flying colors, perhaps garnering as many as 60 votes.

"I think he'll have broad bipartisan support and will be sworn in right away," Grassley said. "He's probably on the job anyway, and I think his goal is to try to be a fast learner." READ MORE

Iowa Lawmakers Ignore Sustainable Agriculture: Voting to Eliminate Funding for Leopold Center

Just three weeks ago, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University was celebrating its 30th anniversary with guest lecturers, including some of the former state legislators who helped create the center.

But in a surprise move last week at the Iowa statehouse, lawmakers voted to eliminate the sustainable agriculture research center by zeroing out the Leopold Center's entire funding stream.  READ MORE

New Iowa FFA President: Lets Bridge Gap Between Retail and Agriculture
by: Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network

Iowa FFA just got a new president. Zach Hamilton, of Goose Lake, will serve as this year's Iowa FFA president. He studies fashion at Iowa State University.

"I am a freshman studying apparel and design, which means I would work for a fashion company [after graduation]. I am also looking at working with the American Footwear and Apparel Association to bridge the gap between agriculturalists and fashion designers to show where the products we get in fashion come from and why it is important to include agriculture in that." READ MORE

Online Tool Assists Specialty Crop Growers, Applicators

DriftWatch, a new online mapping tool for sensitive crops, allows herbicide or insecticide applicators to see where bees and specialty crops are being raised in their neighborhood.

The program just launched in Iowa this year, and the grapes at Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery in Swisher are already on the map.

Owner and founder Jeff Quint said the winery is participating in the program because letting his neighbors know what they are growing is important to protect the business, which includes 10 acres of French-American grapes 12 miles south of Cedar Rapids.  READ MORE

4R Website Receives Refresh 

The  4R Nutrient Stewardship website has a fresh look that is cleaner, easier to navigate and aligns more closely with the 4R brand.

The website still features the same information on the 4Rs, including nutrient stewardship basics, educational modules, and the most updated 4R news. 

Pence in Japan as Country Presses Forward for TPP Deal Without U.S.
by: Ag Web

As Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Japan to further forge the economic ties between the two nations, Japan says it will take the lead to finish the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States.  Pence arrived in Tokyo Tuesday as part of a 10-day trip through Asia. He first met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to discuss tensions with North Korea.  Later, he met with the Japanese finance minister when the two nations formally launched the U.S.-Japan economic dialogue, which is the first step towards negotiating a bilateral trade agreement.

Shortly after President Donald Trump took office in January, he severed U.S. involvement with the TPP. Trump says he prefers to negotiate with individual nations. READ MORE

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