West Des Moines, IA – The Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), on behalf of Iowa’s rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent telecommunication companies, honored nine 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.

Airport Road Vineyard and Winery, located in Mount Pleasant, has made a significant contribution to hospitality and tourism in southwest Iowa. Opening in 2012, this operation has grown to include a winery and vineyard; photography studio; and 5,250 sq. ft. events center, able to hold groups of 300+ people. Airport Road Vineyard and Winery was nominated for the Iowa Venture Award by Access Energy Cooperative.

“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 nine outstanding companies for their accomplishment and contribution to their community, region and state.”

Six additional businesses were recognized with an Iowa Venture Award for their significant contributions in diversifying and strengthening Iowa’s economy. These 2013 Iowa Venture Award Recipients include: Brownmed, Inc. of Spirit Lake; ECHCO Concrete of Corning; Kloubec Koi Farm of Amana; LaBudde Group, Inc. of Manchester; United Farmers Mercantile Cooperative of Villisca; and Valley Plating, Inc. of Rock Valley. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, assisted in presenting the Iowa Venture Awards and honoring the Iowa companies and their leaders.

The 2013 “Outstanding Business of the Year” Iowa Venture Award was presented to CPI – Prairie Gold Hatchery of Goldfield. Centurion Poultry Inc., (CPI) having existing operations in Iowa, decided to expand their Iowa presence by constructing a new 35,000 sq. ft. hatchery in Goldfield. This new state-of-the-art facility has production capacity of 18 million pullet chicks annually, three times that of the Wisconsin facility it replaces. The new facility will strengthen Iowa’s leadership position in both egg production and processing.

An Iowa Venture Award was also presented to Wildwood Hills Ranch of Iowa for “Distinguished Leadership.” Wildwood Hills Ranch of Iowa provides free summer camp and year-round retreats for at-risk children ages 8–18. Kids are immersed in a fun, safe environment where character, leadership and teamwork are modeled and taught. Located on 400 acres west of St. Charles, this camp provides opportunities for approximately 1,000 children annually.

For 26 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 can be found at IADG.com/iadg-awards.

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