Governor Receives International Award and Iowa Fertilizer Company named 2nd-best “Deal of the Year”

Photo from

Photo from


Governor Terry E. Branstad «Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

Contact: Tim Albrecht, 515-281-5211

Branstad Receives International Award as Foreign Direct Investment Politician of the Year

Iowa Fertilizer Company named 2nd-best “Deal of the Year”

(DES MOINES) – Site Selection Magazine and the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Association today named Gov. Terry Branstad as the “Foreign Direct Investment Politician of the Year” during the 10th Annual World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment in Shanghai, China.

Additionally, the Iowa Fertilizer Company was named the 2nd-best “Deal of the Year,” joining several FDI wins for the state. Since January 2011, IEDA has assisted FDI projects in projects that are expected to create and retain nearly 1,000 jobs and result in capital investment in Iowa of almost $2 billion. The top five FDI projects include the Iowa Fertilizer Company, Valent Biosciences, CJ Bio America, Danisco US Inc., Bridgestone Americas Tires and Hipra USA.

According to the FDI Association, the governor’s international award “present(s) accolades for achievement and excellence in the FDI arena in 2012/13.” Gov. Branstad’s success with foreign direct investment results from his administration’s efforts in recruiting businesses to locate in a state or area to grow jobs and strengthen the economy.

“As the governor of Iowa, I have the tremendous opportunity to promote our state, our people and our strong resources to a world market,” said Branstad. “This award gives Iowa a prominent place on the world stage, and is an honor in which all Iowans can take pride. The hardworking, sincere people of Iowa are proud of the safe and reliable products they produce for a growing world population. Lt. Governor Reynolds and I have worked tirelessly to grow jobs in our state and improve our economy – and these efforts are being noticed around the world.”

Attending the World Forum on Foreign Direct Investment in Shanghai, China, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds was the featured speaker on the opening panel of the forum to promote the state of Iowa and the opportunities for direct economic investment to an audience of international leaders.

“This forum is a tremendous opportunity to meet face-to-face with key economic and industry leaders to have an open dialogue on economic prospects that would benefit the state and people of Iowa,” said Reynolds. “As I talk to business leaders from Europe or from Asia, they have all heard of the great things we are doing in Iowa, and they want to learn more about the steps we are taking as a state to recruit companies, grow our state economy and create careers for Iowans.”

In this award category, second place was given to Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor from Copenhagen, Denmark, third place was presented to the Honorable Zafer Çağlayan, Minister of Economy, Turkey, fourth place was presented to Henk Kool, Vice Mayor, The Hague, Holland and fifth place was presented to Noureddine Zekri, General Manager, FIPA Tunisia.

Award winners were determined based on data collected by the Conway Data New Plant Report and by an independent panel of consultants from around the world, including Andreas Dressler, Managing Director, TERRAIN Global, Jason Hickey, President, Hickey & Associates, Yin Hong, National Director & Head of Manufacturing Services, China, Jones Lang LaSalle, Roel Spee, Global Leader, Plant Location International (PLI) Global Location Strategies, IBM Global Business Services, Shirar O’Connor, Principal, The Pont Group, Robert Pittman, Senior Principal, Janus Economics and David East, Director, fDi Intelligence.

Governor Branstad’s leadership in bringing foreign direct investment projects to the state is clear. In addition to the Governor’s receipt of the FDI Politician of the Year, Iowa was recognized with a second place FDI Deal of the Year honor for Iowa Fertilizer Company’s (IFCo) $1.4 billion project in Lee County.

“Governor Branstad has really elevated our position in the international marketplace,” said Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. “And that has helped us to bring in some very significant business locations to Iowa.”

In this category, the top four finishers are as follows:

1)      Sasol North America Inc., Lake Charles, Louisiana ($21B)

2)      Iowa Fertilizer Company LLC, Weaver, Iowa ($1.8B)

3)      Masisa-MDF, Durango, Mexico ($132M)

4)      Yanfeng USA, Riverside, Missouri ($45M)

For more information on these awards, visit:


 Tim Albrecht

Communications Director, Office Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds

515-725-3518 – IGOV Communications Department





ISU Extension and Outreach Focuses on Supporting Entrepreneurs in Lee County

In our ongoing effort of promoting job growth and economic development in Southeast Iowa, Restoring Iowa Jobs wants to give guest contributors a platform to talk about their organization or business on our blog.

This week’s guest contributor is Alexandria Merk, Marketing Specialist at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office in Lee County!

Biz Plan Competition Website2

Alex Merk

Alex Merk,

Marketing Specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach – Lee County

When the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 established the cooperative extension service for the state of Iowa, the goal was to bring the knowledge base of the then Iowa Agriculture College in Ames out to the “working class” people in the rural areas of the state.  Although Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has evolved over time, the focus of educating Iowa’s citizens by bringing ISU’s research and educational resources out to all 99 counties remains the same.

One way that ISU Extension and Outreach has evolved is that we no longer solely focus on agriculture.  Yes, agriculture is still an integral part of extension work, but another key issue that ISU Extension and Outreach focuses on is community economic development through the support of entrepreneurs and small businesses.

This year ISU Extension and Outreach in Lee County is doing work in economic development through multiple programs.  One project that we are excited to bring to the area is the 2014 Lee County Business Plan Competition. “Planting the Seeds for Growing Businesses” is this year’s theme for the competition for entrepreneurs who are interested in starting or expanding businesses in Lee County, Iowa.

If you have a good business plan, you could win a portion or all of $5,000 with your bright idea in 2014.  The competition is open to new business startups, local food enterprises, and existing small business expansions.

A panel of expert judges will review the submitted business plans and listen to presentations from the applicants to determine the allocation of $5,000 in award money among the top finalists and runners-up.  The winner will also receive a one year membership to their choice of the Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce or Fort Madison Area Chamber of Commerce.

All business plans applications must be received no later than 4:00 PM, on Friday, January 10, 2014 at the Lee County Extension Office, 414 N. Main, Donnellson, IA, 52625.  Winners will be announced on February 12, 2014.

The business plan competition and class is an exciting new avenue to help jumpstart local businesses in Lee County, which are a key component to stimulating economic growth in our area.  Even the entrepreneurs that do not win the competition will benefit from this process by receiving valuable feedback to improve their plans and make them more attractive to potential lenders.

Lee County Extension and Outreach and Iowa MicroLoan are sponsoring the 2014 Business Plan Competition with support from a Business Opportunity Grant from USDA Rural Development.  The program is co-sponsored by the Fort Madison Area Chamber of Commerce, Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce, and Southeast Iowa Small Business Development Center.

For those who wish to spruce up their business planning skills, the Southeast Iowa Small Business Development Center from Southeastern Community College will be conducting Business Plan Development classes on Monday evenings from 6PM to 9PM November 18 through December 9 at the Lee County Extension Office, 414 N. Main Street, in Donnellson.


For more information, visit the Lee County Extension and Outreach website at

Or contact me directly by phone at 319-835-5116 or email to request a Business Plan Competition Application Packet.