Three titles in four years!
No, not the Patriots, Warriors or Crimson Tide. I’m talking about the dynasty that’s sweeping across rural Iowa.
This week, SwineTech (an Oskaloosa-based startup) was named American Farm Bureau’s Entrepreneur of the Year, beating out a field of rural businesses from across the U.S.
Not only that – American Farm Bureau’s Rural Entrepreneurship Challenge is in its fourth year, and SwineTech is the third champion to hail from Iowa! Iowa has also placed seven companies in the challenge’s top 10 over the years.
The titles are great (a source of pride for the winners themselves and Iowa Farm Bureau members), but the contributions of these entrepreneurs (their innovative, problem-solving products and the jobs they create for Iowa communities) are what’s truly exciting and meaningful for all Iowans!
SwineTech has developed technology that’s proven to save piglets’ lives! If you haven’t heard their story, listen to co-founder Matthew Rooda in the video below.
It’s not supposed to be like this – right? We’re told that rural Iowa is declining, sapped of its youth, jobs, and innovation. So why is rural entrepreneurship in Iowa seeing a revival?
Like any blooming dynasty, there’s much more to the story, and this story is more than a decade in the making.
Eleven years ago, Iowa Farm Bureau created Renew Rural Iowa, a program to foster entrepreneurship and help revitalize Iowa communities. In its first decade, the program has mentored more than 3,000 Iowans and has had a more than $125 million economic impact on rural communities around the state.
It’s that kind of real, earnest commitment that builds a dynasty and (more importantly) a bright future.
By Zach Bader. Zach is Iowa Farm Bureau’s Digital Marketing Manager.