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Cultivation Corridor Advancing Priorities

July 10, 2014

Just two months into its existence, the Cultivation Corridor has seen regional and statewide outreach expand, a strong national trade show presence, substantial progress on marketing collateral development and momentum gathered on several key early potential Corridor projects. Operationally, the Corridor continues to make strides to establish the necessary protocols and resources necessary to any new organizational undertaking.

In June, the Corridor ramped to a full schedule of major trade shows highly relevant to highlighting the Cultivation Corridor as a key worldwide market for agbioscience investment. Brent Willett attended the World Pork Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, where numerous Corridor companies and stakeholders were featured alongside hundreds of other industry analysts, producers, suppliers, and swine health experts during the three-day event, which drew more than 20,000 attendees. Stacie LoVan of the Partnership and Drew Kamp of the Ames Economic Development Corp. manned a Cultivation Corridor-branded booth at the Institute of Food Technologists show in New Orleans. IFT is a gathering of approximately 18,000 of the world’s top food science and technology professionals. Finally, the Corridor partnered with Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) at BIO International, the world’s largest biotechnology show, in San Diego, California. Several Corridor partners participated as well, including Tiffany Coleman of the AEDC.

A key component to the Cultivation Corridor project is the effective deployment of the Corridor brand as a comprehensive communications apparatus which promotes Greater Des Moines (DSM) and the state at large as a center of excellence in agbioscience investment, talent and research/development. To that end, significant early resources have been directed to the establishment of an effective brand deployment and marketing capability for the Corridor. The Cultivation Corridor brand is designed to be an open source resource for anyone engaged in the agbio economy in DSM to be put to work to consistently message this region and this state’s commitment to growth of this sector. 

In addition to the trade show work, key Corridor leaders were busy helping to advance the Corridor agenda across the country and globe last month. Ames Chamber President & CEO Dan Culhane and a group of Ames area and Iowa State leaders visited Washington D.C. in June and held meetings with Iowa’s elected delegation and other key agency contacts on a number of issues important to the Corridor project. Partnership CEO Jay Byers helped lead a trade trip to Israel and Turkey and met with a number of influencers in the agbio space.  

Economic development activity occurring in the Corridor includes: 

  • State and Corridor leaders signed a trade Memorandum of Understanding with China’s Ministry of Commerce which deepens agbio ties between Iowa and the world’s second largest economy. Among statements of intention on agribulture, biofuels and wind energy is a commitment from China to buy $100M in U.S. soybeans. Iowa is among the country’s top soybean producers. The agreement comes on the heels of the recent announcement of the establishment of a soybean research center at ISU.
  • Ames-based HarrisVaccines was awarded the first USDA conditional license on a vaccine against PEDv, a virus that has killed seven million piglets nationally.  Iowa is the nation’s largest hog producer by a wide margin.
  • The IEDA has agreed to assist Kemin with plans for further expansion at its DSM headquarters that include added warehouse and manufacturing space. Kemin opened its $16.7 million innovation center last year. The company's expansion has exceeded job-creation expectations with 140 new jobs.
  • CJ Bio America cut the ribbon last week on its new $320M lysine plant at Fort Dodge’s Ag Park. The project will create more than 100 jobs in the region and will be the largest producer of lysine, an amino acid added to livestock feed, in the world.
  • Ames-based Barilla Americas was named one of the America’s most trusted brands by BrandSpark in June. The BrandSpark lists are among the most coveted of consumer rankings.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership 

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 320 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.