CIRAS Assistance Leads to Focus on Growth

August 2011

When Noel Rudie, Harvest Innovations director of research, talks about the company history and the successes experienced the past two years, he immediately acknowledges the level of service and depth of assistance provided by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach through the Center for Industrial Research and Service. “Using resources from CIRAS has allowed Harvest Innovations to focus on growth,” says Rudie.

Harvest Innovations, located in Indianola, is a manufacturer of high quality all-natural ingredients for the food industry. Ingredients are considered the finest, based on the natural nutritional benefits provided by cereal grains, legumes and oil seeds. Harvest Innovations was formed with the acquisition of Soy Innovations in early 2009. With only twelve employees prior to the new ownership, the company quickly grew to twenty employees, but as a small company they had no internal resources to train employees.

Harvest Innovations soon contacted CIRAS for food safety and employee training. CIRAS was able to connect them to the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council and Lester Wilson, an Iowa State University professor in food science and human nutrition, as well as to the Center for Crops Utilization Research at Iowa State.

The utilization of resources from CIRAS has allowed Harvest Innovations to focus on growth.

- Dr. Noel Rudie, Director of Research, Harvest Innovations

Another key component in the repertoire of CIRAS’ services was the business continuity plan created by CIRAS, which was the key factor of a continued dialogue that positioned them to become a supplier for a large food company in the U.S. In May of 2010 a customer request led the company to contract CIRAS to complete a carbon footprint analysis of the plant. The potential impact of that study is an estimated increase of $7 million to $10 million in sales as well as an addition of five full-time employees.

The company now has 35 employees. “The services provided by CIRAS have made a huge impact on our bottom line and have paved the way for significant growth,” explains Rudie.


For more information about CIRAS contact:
Derek Thompson, CIRAS account manager, 515-491-2163, thompson@iastate.edu