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Harvest time in Iowa: Iowa is the place for ag-tech

September 19, 2016

Harvest time in Iowa: Iowa is the place for ag-tech
It’s 1959 and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev is making a historic trip to America. During the trip he plans one-on-one meetings with two individuals: U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and an Iowa farmer.

That Iowa meeting, which happened this week 57 years ago, happened for two reasons: Khrushchev had befriended the farmer, Roswell Garst of Coon Rapids, and because the Soviet leader wanted to see cutting-edge American agricultural technology.

Come today, and you’ll see Iowa is still the place to develop ag-tech innovations. Here are three reasons why:

This is where the end-users live: Iowa is #1 in corn, egg, pork and soybean production in the country. The ag-tech customer base – and the opportunities to test tech in the field – are here.

Ag-tech accelerators are in place: This year Iowa State University, a top agriculture school, launched its Ag Startup Engine. Last month, four ag-centric corporations – DuPont Pioneer, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Company, John Deere, and Peoples Company – each invested in another new accelerator, the Ag Tech Accelerator, in Des Moines. The Iowa Startup Accelerator in Cedar Rapids also specializes in helping ag startups.

Innovation-friendly government: CNBC rated Iowa a top 10 state for business in 2016, and the state with the second lowest cost of doing business. In addition, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) offers entrepreneurial assistance to qualifying small businesses.

Iowa is a smart place for ag-tech companies to grow. For information on doing business in Iowa, or on the entrepreneurial assistance programs mentioned above, contact the Iowa Economic Development Authority  at



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