ISU Extension Specialists Assist Regional Economic Development Project

Name and Position/Title:
Chris Mondak, Dairy Field Specialist; Melissa O’Rourke, Farm Management Specialist; and Leo Timms, Dairy State Specialist

Fiscal Year Submitted:
April 2011

POW Title and Number:
110 – Dairy Team

ISU Extension Specialists Assist Regional Economic Development Project

Issue (Who cares and Why):
In late December, Sioux City Economic Development office requested information and research-based information that would be helpful to an economic development project focused on recruiting in a new dairy processing plant to a Sioux City location.  Supporting value-added agriculture projects is an ISU Extension priority, and 2 Field Specialist created and conducted a survey to gather information to assist the project managers. 

What Did You Do? (Outputs – these may include educational meetings, demonstrations or research, media, facilitating, partnering)

  1. Between Jan 3- 7, ISUE Field Specialists surveyed 45 local dairy producers by phone and by email, and obtained 35 responses.   Purpose of the survey was to explore current dairy community’s ability and willingness to increase production to meet potential new market needs.  Survey responses were tallied and sent to Sioux City Economic Development office whose staff compiled a full report for the prospective client. 


  1. In early April, Sioux City Economic Development again contacted ISUE to announce good news that the city was a considered in top list of candidates for the final site selection, and to request an informative presentation by ISUE to provide data about western Iowa dairy production capability, producer demographics, and ISU resources.

Results timeline to date:
Economic development teams at Sioux City and State of Iowa indicate that ISUE’s survey work and presentation have been instrumental in keeping the Sioux City site as a strong candidate for site of a new processing plant.

If Sioux City is selected as the site for a new dairy processing plant, this will be a positive economic development in terms of immediate jobs created, and in terms of encouraging current and future milk production by Iowa’s dairy producers.


Last updated: July 19, 2011
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