New venture capital firm, Prairie Crest Capital, launches in Des Moines

Prairie Crest Capital, a venture capital firm focused on early to mid-stage investments in breakthrough agriculture and technology firms, has been launched in Des Moines by principals Barry Adams and Mark White.

The partners formed Prairie Crest Capital to address the underserved investment opportunities in the agriculture and technology sectors, particularly in the Midwest. While agriculture and downstream products (such as food) account for nearly 8 percent of the United States GDP, it only amounts to less than 3 percent of venture capital investments on average over the past three years. Prairie Crest anticipates investment activity in the agriculture technology space to grow from $1.2 billion to approximately $7 billion over the next several years.

The partners have spent over a year developing the firm, refining their investment thesis, identifying promising new ventures, and formalizing their network of investment partners and technology affiliates. Prairie Crest Capital will be active investors in these promising firms and has developed a mentoring and engagement platform to optimize their success.

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Dry weather allows Minnesota farmers to catch up on harvest

Minnesota farmers are making up for lost time on the fall harvest, thanks to drier weather.

The Minnesota crop report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture says 5.3 days were suitable for fieldwork during the week that ended Sunday. That's the most days suitable since the first week of August.

While the drier weather allowed for harvesting in most areas of the state, some fields or spots were still too wet to harvest.

Almost one-quarter of Minnesota's soybean acreage was harvested last week. Eighty-seven percent of the soybean acreage was harvested, slightly ahead of average but a week behind last year.

Nearly all of Minnesota's corn acreage is mature. Thirty-seven percent of corn for grain is harvested, six days behind the five-year average and five days behind last year.


A third of Iowa, Nebraska corn harvested; 62 pct of soybeans

Farmers have made further progress harvesting corn and soybeans in Iowa and Nebraska but rain in Iowa and heavy dew in Nebraska has slowed the process.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Iowa farmers reported waiting for crops to dry in the field before harvesting. Nebraska also saw last week freezing temperatures across a wide area.

About a third of the Iowa corn crop is harvested, about a week behind the five-year average and 62 percent of soybeans are out of the field. The five-year average at this point in the year is 74 percent.

In Nebraska 34 percent of corn is harvested, behind the average of 40 percent and 62 percent of soybeans are completed behind the average of 74 percent.


Michael Goggin Memorial Scholarships awarded by Prairie State/Select Sires
Prairie State/Select Sires presented six scholarships in the memory of former General Manager Michael Goggin to deserving college students from Iowa and Illinois.

Michael Goggin was a Prairie State/Select Sires employee for more than 30 years and served as the organization's general manager for 20 years. He retired in June 2009 and passed away in August 2012. In 2014, to honor his dedication and devotion to Prairie State/Select Sires, the board of directors began awarding scholarships annually to students pursuing advanced degrees in agricultural-related fields. Applicants must also be a family member of a current Prairie State/Select Sires customer.

The 2016 Michael Goggin Scholarship recipients are:
Rachel Deters, Sigel, Ill., daughter of Joe and Carleen Deters
Karla Hageman, Decorah, Iowa, daughter of Alan and Ruth Hageman
Emily Irwin, Belvidere, Ill., daughter of Mark and Melissa Irwin
Haley Jones, Creston, Iowa, daughter of Patrick and Nancy Jones
Matthew Metzger, Larchwood, Iowa, son of Mark and Audrey Metzger
Jenna Preston, Taylor Ridge, Ill., daughter of Brian and Kelly Preston

Based in Hampshire, Ill., Prairie State/Select Sires is the farmer-owned and controlled cooperative that operates in Illinois and Iowa as a member of Select Sires, Inc., North America’s largest A.I. organization. As the industry leader, it provides highly fertile semen as well as excellence in service and programs to achieve its basic objective of supplying dairy and beef producers with North America’s best genetics at a reasonable price.

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