FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Zach Bader, Iowa Farm Bureau, (515) 225-5409
PRESTON, IOWA PLASTICS COMPANY GROWS FROM FARM SHED TO 67,750 SQUARE FOOT FACILITY, EARNS RENEW RURAL IOWA ENTREPRENEUR AWARD Plastics Unlimited employs nearly 50 workers in a city with a population of less than 1,000
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – March 19, 2009 – Terry and Nancy Kieffer started Plastics Unlimited in 1993, from a shed on their farm near the eastern Iowa town of Preston. Sixteen years and three expansions later, Plastics Unlimited operates out of a 67,750 square foot facility in Preston’s industrial park and employs nearly 50 workers. The company’s success, innovation and utilization of renewable resources have earned it the Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur of the Month award for March. Plastics Unlimited manufactures thermoformed, urethane, composite molding and fiberglass parts for businesses like Bobcat, Rite Hite, Gehl, General Electric and Caterpillar. The company also supplies for several large agricultural equipment companies. Its products range from agricultural hoods and shrouds to industrial shields and guards, vending machines parts and urethane OEM parts.
In 2005 the company developed a new patent-pending tooless engineered composite (TEC) process that creates a fiberglass/thermoplastic mix, using up to 20 percent soy-based resin. The result of the innovative process is a more durable and lightweight product, with a top-of-the-line “class A” finish. The TEC process brought several new customers to Plastics Unlimited, and the company’s sales grew by approximately 50 percent every year from 2005 to 2008. The incorporation of ag-based renewable resources was a natural decision for the Kieffers, who are founders and co-owners of Plastics Unlimited and soybean farmers.
“We’re currently the only thermoforming and composite business owners who are also soybean farmers,” said Nancy. “Our businesses represent a complete circle in renewable resources. We believe in doing what’s right for Iowa, and that includes doing what’s right for our workers. Unlike other fiberglass production methods, our TEC process requires no permit because there are no emissions. Also, the soy based resin doesn’t have a strong odor so it’s more user-friendly for workers.”
“Great vision and innovation by Iowa entrepreneurs can take an idea from the backyard to an industrial park, and can transform a company run by two people into one that employs 50, said Iowa Farm Bureau Economic Development Administrator Sandy Ehrig. “That’s especially significant in a town like Preston that has a population of less than 1,000. Iowa Farm Bureau is proud to recognize innovative businesses that embrace agriculture and renewable resources, while creating high quality jobs for rural Iowans.”
Winners of the Renew Rural Iowa Entrepreneur of the Month award are rural businesses that are making a positive impact in their communities. Many past winners have participated in the Renew Rural Iowa program.
The first Renew Rural Iowa seminar was offered in the Iowa Lakes Corridor region at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake in December of 2006. Since then 22 seminars with more than 1500 participants have engaged in RRIowa seminars to help their companies thrive and grow. The next seminar is scheduled for April 16 in Fairfield. For more information on the Renew Rural Iowa program call (800) 254-9670 or go online at www.renewruraliowa.com . To learn more about Plastics Unlimited, visit www.plasticsunlimited.net .
About Iowa Farm Bureau The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the People, Progress and Pride of Iowa. More than 153,000 families in Iowa are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve farm and rural prosperity. For more information about Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit the online media center at www.iowafarmbureau.com.