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Des Moines, IA — The Iowa Area Development Group, on behalf of Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent telecommunication companies, honored seven distinguished Iowa companies with the Iowa Venture Award at a luncheon held in conjunction with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives’ annual meeting at the Sheraton West Des Moines.

Bratney Companies is being recognized for continued growth and commitment to Iowa. Their most recent expansion is the creation of a manufacturing division resulting in the construction of a new 12,000 sq. ft. fabrication facility located on a 6-acre plot in the Marshalltown Gateway Centre. Bratney Companies is comprised of three separate companies, two Iowa based and one based in California.

These three related companies work collaboratively to build facilities and provide equipment to companies in the seed, grain, whole foods and animal feed industries. They are family owned and have three generations of family members serving on the board of directors. Bratney Companies was nominated for the Iowa Venture Award by Consumers Energy.

“The Iowa Venture Awards Luncheon provides a forum to celebrate the courage, contribution, innovation responsibility and vision of Iowa entrepreneurs,” said IADG President Rand Fisher. “IADG, on behalf of our sponsors, is proud to recognize these seven outstanding companies for their contribution to their community, region and state.”

Five additional businesses were recognized with an Iowa Venture Award for their significant contributions in diversifying and strengthening Iowa’s economy. These 2016 Iowa Venture Award recipients include: Christensen Farms & Feedlots, Inc. of Garner; Concrete Machinery Inc. of Iowa in Paton; Great Lakes Communication Corp. of Spencer; Maassen Dairy Farms of Maurice; and Mogler Farms/Pig Hill West of Alvord. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Bill Northey assisted in presenting the Iowa Venture Awards and honoring the Iowa companies and their leaders.

The 2016 “Outstanding Business of the Year” Iowa Venture Award was presented to Iowa Fertilizer, located in rural Lee County, near Wever, Iowa. Iowa Fertilizer is historic in many ways, including being the state’s largest single-site construction project spanning 500 acres with capital investment of $2 billion. This is the first greenfield nitrogen fertilizer facility constructed in the United States in 30 years.

The plant is expected to deliver 1.5 to two million metric tons of fertilizer products annually to farmers in Iowa and the Midwest. During construction, Iowa Fertilizer utilized more than 3,000 construction workers and created more than 700 ancillary jobs that helped revitalize the economy of the surrounding region. It is expected that the number of permanent employees will exceed 200 and have a lasting positive impact on the region. Iowa Fertilizer was nominated for a Venture Award by Access Energy Cooperative.

For 29 years, 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 248 companies can be found at www.IADG.com/HallOfFame.

IADG is the business and community development leader for Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent telecommunication companies.

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