March 8 , 2018
A five-minute summary of AAI, regulation, and industry activities for members of the largest state agribusiness association in the nation.
In This Issue
Northey & Naig Host Reception

pictured above left to right: US Under Secretary Bill Northey, AAI CEO Joel Brinkmeyer, AAI Chair Mark Morrissey. 

Bill Northey resigned his position at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship on Monday, March 5, to clear the way to become an undersecretary at the United States Department of Agriculture. Less than an hour after the resignation, Deputy Secretary Mike Naig was sworn in as the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. Sec. Naig was sworn in a at a public ceremony at the Iowa Supreme Court Chamber.
Following the ceremony, Sec. Naig and Northey held a joint open house reception. AAI leadership and staff attended the event to congratulate Naig on his new position and to thank Northey for his service to Iowa.

6th Annual Ag Leaders Dinner

The Iowa Secretary of Agriculture hosted the Sixth Annual Iowa Ag Leader Awards Dinner this week. The dinner also included the swearing in of Bill Northey to his new USDA Undersecretary position by US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.

pictured above left to right: AAI Chair Mark Morrissey, US Sec. of Ag Sonny Perdue, AAI CEO Joel Brinkmeyer, AAI Board Treasurer Steve Meyerholz.

The Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Leader Awards were created to recognize, honor and promote Iowa citizens, companies and organizations who have made significant contributions to Iowa's agriculture industry.

pictured above left to right: AAI At-Large Director Jose Laracuente, US Sec. of Ag Sonny Perdue, Shelley Laracuente. 

The event includes hundreds of invited guests from across the agricultural spectrum. The bulk of the AAI board executives were at the event. Members representing AAI include - Board Chair Mark Morrissey, United Services Association; Chair Elect Mike Moellenbeck, River Valley Cooperative; Treasurer Steve Meyerholz, Eldon C. Stutsman, Inc.; Past Chair Dave Tierney, Monsanto; AAI Foundation Representative Kevin Drury, Headland Ag; and board member Jose Laracuente, Ag Vision. Also in attendance were AAI staff members, Joel Brinkmeyer, CEO; Reilly Vaughan, Membership Director; Shawn Richmond, Environmental Technology Director; Tyler Teske, Marketing Director; and David Geiger, Agribusiness Report Anchor.

Find photos of this week's events and more on:
Northey Thanks AAI Members

As Bill Northey moves into his new role in Washington DC as UDSA Under Secretary of Ag,  he will be in charge of organizing and consolidating some agencies within the USDA - that includes the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Risk Management Agency.

In a letter from Bill Northey to the AAI Board Members he states, "At this time, I wanted to thank you for the time and effort you have put in as members of the AAI Board of Directors. Thank you also to the staff. The good work done is important and has helped move Iowa agriculture forward."

"I look forward to continuing to work with you in my new role as Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the opportunities and the challenges facing us." said Northey's letter. 

Greenfield Nitrogen to Build Regional Iowa Ammonia Plant
by: Feed Stuffs

Greenfield Nitrogen, an early-stage fertilizer company, has announced plans to raise $120 million to go toward building the first regional anhydrous ammonia plant through grassroots ownership.

Located in Garner, Iowa, the plant will cost an estimated $220 million and will produce 120,815 tons of ammonia annually. On-site storage will allow the company to sell and store up to 66,000 tons (50% of annual production) for maximum profitability. Ownership will give farmers and agricultural retailers access to attractive manufacturers' margins. Read More

Iowa Business, Community Colleges Partner To Offer Work-based Learning

At a press conference in her formal office in the Statehouse on Wednesday, February 28, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds highlighted the  new partnership between ABI and Iowa's community colleges.

Called WORRC (Work-based Opportunity Regional Referral Consortium), the partnership represents a new collaboration between ABI and the colleges.  It was approved by the ABI board of Directors at the January meeting. 

Governor Reynolds recognized ABI members all across Iowa for their leadership in hiring Iowans, in training Iowans for the jobs of today, for supporting the new Future Ready Iowa recommendations around certification and training, and for innovative collaborations with Iowa's fine community colleges.  The colleges have been on the front lines with regard to training Iowa's manufacturing workers. Read More

Zumbach Moving Forward with Run for Iowa Ag Secretary
by: KMCH

A Delaware County  farmer who serves in the state legislature is moving forward with his plans to run for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.

Republican State Senator Dan Zumbach announced last month that he would run as a candidate ONLY IF Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey was accepted as an Under Secretary in the USDA. With Northey now officially moving on to Washington D.C., Zumbach says he's ready to give it a shot.

Zumbach joins a growing list of Iowans seeking the state's top ag job: Republicans  Mike Naig , Iowa Sec of Ag;  Craig Lang , past president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation;  Ray Gaesser , a Corning farmer and chairman of the American Soybean Association; Chad Ingels, Fayette County farmer; and  Democrat Tim Gannon , who worked for eight years at USDA under Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor.   Read More

Ag Groups Fear Proposed Tariffs Could Hurt Iowa Jobs
by: KCCI

All six of Iowa's Congressional leaders have sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him not to impose tariffs on foreign-made steel and aluminum.

Agriculture groups told KCCI on Wednesday that unrest in Washington, D.C., could have a ripple effect in Iowa.

"We don't know where we stand right now," said Ron Birkenholz, with the Iowa Pork Producers Association. "Pork producers are nervous about what's going to happen." Read More

Related Articles 
Women Landowners Cover Crop Field Day | March 28th

Iowa Learning Farms, along with Union County Soil and Water Conservation District and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service , will host a cover crop, soil health and conservation leases field day for women landowners on Wednesday, March 28 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at James and Michelle Allen's farm, rural Diagonal. The event is free and includes a complimentary meal.

The field day will be held at the Allen Farm, 1459 270th Street, Diagonal, Iowa. From Creston, go south on County Road P27/Hi and Dry Road for 9 miles. Turn right to head west on 270th Street for 0.4 miles. The farm is located on the north side of the road.

The workshop is free and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Please RSVP to Union County SWCD at 641-782-4218 ext. 3 or Read More

3 Steps to Succession Planning
by: Succesfull Farming

At a recent Iowa Power Farming Show seminar, attorney Erin Herbold-Swalwell shared her planning expertise with Midwest farmers in attendance. Prior to entering private practice at Brick Gentry P.C., Herbold-Swalwell was the staff attorney at the Iowa State University Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation. In addition to her professional experiences in research and writing, a background on her own family's Iowa farm helps her work through the complex planning issues rural families face. Read More

Save these Dates! 2018 Summer Golf Tournaments Dates and Locations

Our golf tournaments are a great way to network and grow your connections in the agribusiness community.  We host four golf tournaments in the state of Iowa, two in July, one in August, and one in September. Save these dates!
  • July 24 | Fox Ridge Golf Course - Dike
  • July 25 | Emerald Hills Golf Course - Arnolds Park
  • August 9 | The Legacy Golf Club - Des Moines
  • September 13 | TBD
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Dicamba/auxin training sessions can be found at:
Upcoming Events
& Meeting
Agribusiness Showcase & Conference Committee Meeting 
10:00 AM
March 20
AAI Board Room

Office Closures
March 30
Good Friday - Office Closed

April 3
Early Closure at 3:00 PM

AAI Executive Committee Meeting
10:00 AM 
April 10
AAI Board Room

AAI Board Meeting
10:00 AM
April 17
AAI Board Room

Office Closures
May 28
Memorial Day Monday
Summer Hours Begin
(M-Th 8-4:30 PM; F 8-12 PM)

July 4
Independence  Day

AAI Golf Tournament #1
Co-host: AGP
July 24
Fox Ridge Golf Course
Dike, IA

AAI Golf Tournament #2
Co-host: AGP
July 25
Emerald Hills Golf Course
Arnolds Park, IA

AAI Golf Tournament #3
Co-host: USA
Shotgun Start: 10AM
August 9
Des Moines, IA

Agribusiness Showcase & Conference Summer Workshop
August, 2018

Office Closures
September 3
Labor Day Monday
Summer Hours End


Agribusiness Association of Iowa 
515-262-8323 |
900 Des Moines Street |  Des Moines, IA 50309