Eight Companies Honored with 2018 Iowa Venture Award

posted on Thursday, December 6, 2018 in News

The Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), on behalf of Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent telecommunication companies, honored eight distinguished Iowa companies with the Iowa Venture Award. The awards were presented at a luncheon held in conjunction with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting.

“The Iowa Venture Award provides an opportunity to uphold the courage, contribution, innovation, social responsibility and vision of Iowa entrepreneurs,” said IADG President Rand Fisher. “IADG, on behalf of our sponsors, is proud to recognize these eight outstanding companies for their accomplishment and contribution to their community, region and state.”

These eight Venture Award recipients have invested over $425 million in Iowa. Together, they have created or retained over 1,500 jobs in their facilities and operations.  

The 2018 Iowa Venture Award Recipients include:

Prestage Foods of Iowa is the recipient of the “Outstanding Business of the Year” Iowa Venture Prestage Foods of Iowa "Outstanding Business of the Year" Iowa Venture Award recipientAward. Prestage Foods is nearing completion of its $325 million state-of-the-art processing plant near Eagle Grove. The 725,000 sq. ft. facility has been called the most advanced processing facility in the world. It incorporates design features to limit its environmental footprint, and enhance workplace safety and efficiency. The plant will employ nearly 1,000 workers. Of the estimated 600 million pounds of pork processed per year, 45 percent will go to other facilities for further processing; 25 to 30 percent will be sold in the international marketplace; grocery chains, stores, and meat retailers will sell the remainder. Prestage Foods of Iowa was nominated by Prairie Energy Cooperative.

Eagle’s Catch Fish Farm invested approximately $12 million to construct a large-scale tilapia productionEagle's Catch Recipient of 2018 Iowa Venture Award facility in the Ellsworth Industrial Park. The facility was designed with state-of-the-art engineering that will minimize biosecurity risk, and will be as water neutral as possible. The efficiency goal is to lose less than 1% of the facility’s water capacity per day. Eagle’s Catch leaders plan for the company to quickly become one of the largest tilapia growing facilities in the United States. Eagle’s Catch is a dynamic company supporting the rapidly expanding aquaculture industry in Iowa. Eagle’s Catch was nominated by Midland Power Cooperative.

Martin Marietta is an American-based company with operations in 32 states. They are a leading supplierMartin Marietta Recipient of 2018 Iowa Venture Award of building materials, including aggregates, cement, ready mixed concrete and asphalt. Martin Marietta’s Midwest Division includes more than 30 operations across Iowa. The company provides Iowa customers with a wide variety of high-quality products for construction needs. A few examples showcasing their products include wind farms, Highway 20, Lake Red Rock Hydro-Electric Dam, and the Facebook, Google and Microsoft facilities. Martin Marietta was nominated by Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative.

Nutriom is a small, family-owned company. They invented a technique for drying eggs to keep their Nutriom Recipient of 2018 Iowa Venture Award fresh flavor, nutrition and functionality. OvaEasy Egg Crystals are created through a production process that gently dries real egg without exposing it to high heat. The company is relocating from the state of Washington to Panora, Iowa. With the help of seven Iowa revolving loan funds, the company has embarked upon a nearly $10 million relocation, renovation, production, and warehousing investment. Nutriom was nominated by Guthrie County Rural Electric Cooperative.

Perry Creek Dairy is a multi-generational family operation in Plymouth County. By early 2019, they Perry Creek Dairy Recipient of 2018 Iowa Venture Award expect to have a second dairy operational. The new facility – also in Plymouth County – will feature an 80-stall parlor, milking up to 3,600 cows three times per day. Perry Creek Dairy milk will support the nearby cheese production facility in Hull, Iowa. The dairy will have 7.5 acres of under-roof freestall barns for cow comfort, safety, and environmental stewardship. Perry Creek Dairy was nominated by North West Rural Electric Cooperative.

Sullivan Supply, Inc. is an innovative leader of livestock show supplies. The company has been Sullivan Supply Recipient of 2018 Iowa Venture Award family owned and operated since it began in the family garage in 1989. In spring, 2018, they completed a new 67,400 sq. ft. headquarters, manufacturing, research and development, warehousing, and distribution facility in the Dunlap Industrial Park. In 2010, to give back to the stock show industry, Sullivan Supply created Stock Show University, a non-profit organization to educate the youth in the livestock industry on the proper techniques to show animals. Sullivan Supply was nominated by Harrison County Rural Electric Cooperative.

Trinity Fabricators, Inc., located near New Albin, is a structural steel fabricator for building Trinity Fabricators Recipient of 2018 Iowa Venture Award construction. Founded in 1995, Trinity Fabricators’ belief in quality customer service enabled them to move beyond repairs and small projects to large-scale building construction jobs. The company is the sole manufacturer of structural steel beams for Kum & Go convenience stores located throughout 11 states. They also cut steel for more than 180 Applebee’s restaurants as well as a wide variety of other customers. Trinity Fabricators was nominated by Allamakee-Clayton Electric Cooperative.

Waspy’s Truck Stop, is under the ownership and leadership of Lawrence “Waspy” and Doris Waspy's Recipient of 2018 Iowa Venture AwardHandlos. They have invested more than $7 million to create Waspy’s Truck Stop in Templeton.  Lawrence and Doris were born and raised in Willey in Carroll County and the Handlos family has farmed in the area for years and responded to the community need for a truck stop to serve the thousands of vehicles that pass by on Highway 141 or journey to Templeton for Templeton Rye. The facility provides a full-service cafe, groceries, spirits den, cigar humidor, fuel and car wash. After successfully launching the Templeton facility, they built a similar but larger $18 million complex in Audubon, Iowa in August that includes a truck stop, full service restaurant and bar, hotel, car wash and a truck service center that is under construction right now that will include truck wash bays, tire repair and diesel repair.  Waspy’s was nominated by Raccoon Valley Electric Cooperative.

About the Iowa Venture Award
This marks the 31st year that IADG has presented Iowa Venture Awards to individuals and organizations, both large and small, in recognition of their significant contributions to Iowa's economy through entrepreneurial leadership, innovation and the creation of job opportunities. History has demonstrated that these are among the most accomplished and successful companies in the state. Together they are helping to sustain and grow Iowa’s economy. The Iowa Venture Award Hall of Fame showcasing these 264 companies can be found at

About Iowa Area Development Group (IADG)
IADG is the business and community development leader for Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent telecommunication companies. Since 1985, the partnerships and economic development efforts of IADG and their sponsors have assisted with more than 2,100 projects, generating in excess of $12 billion of capital investment and over 53,000 new or retained jobs for Iowa.