Des Moines, IA – Light snowfall proved to be only a minor inconvenience as more than 1100 people participated in the 2016 Agribusiness Showcase & Conference on February 9 and 10. The 2016 Showcase set new records with 127 exhibiting companies on the Showcase floor and a record 270 community college students in attendance for the Agribusiness Career Day.
An increased focus on environmental opportunities was evident at the 2016 Showcase with the addition of three Environmental Technology (ET) Forums highlighting the latest in environmental products and services for agriculture. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey kicked off the ET Forums and also presented his Water Quality Initiative Awards during the event.
“We see more exhibitors and more attendees finding value in our Showcase year after year,” said Joel Brinkmeyer, Agribusiness Association of Iowa CEO. “The educational opportunities we offer at the Showcase, in addition to seeing the advanced technologies being applied to equipment and services, really makes it time well spent.”
The ET Forums, presented by the Iowa Nutrient Research and Education Council (INREC), featured 15 companies which provide products or services that advance nutrient management, provide better data on inputs, help with water management, and generally enhance the environmental aspects of agricultural production. Northey opened the forum sessions with an acknowledgement of how quickly Iowa farmers and agribusinesses have increased their energy on implementing science-based solutions following the release of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.
“When you look at this show, and hear the kinds of opportunities to be able to better manage our nutrients, we see the investments by the companies here, in bringing technology to producers that will reduce loss of nitrogen and phosphorus, those are the kinds of engagements that are going to get us there,” said Northey.
The Secretary’s Iowa Ag Leader Awards for outstanding leadership in improving Iowa’s water quality were also presented at the Showcase. Northey recognized agribusinesses LaCrosse Seeds, Agriland FS, New Leader and AgriDrain, and CCAs Pat Tekippe from Winneshiek County and Terry Grote from Black Hawk County for their leadership in the area of water quality.
AGRILAND FS General Manager John Knobloch (left) accepts the Secretary’s Iowa Ag Leader Award in the Conservation Category from Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey during the All Industry Luncheon at the Agribusiness Showcase and Conference Wednesday, February 10, 2016.
In addition to comments by Northey, the Agribusiness Showcase featured industry leaders and experts, the latest in research, and a number of high profile speakers including Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds.
“Some of the things that are going to allow us to make the real improvements in nitrogen and phosphorus reduction in the future are going to be things we are going to discover and innovate and adapt over the next five, ten, fifteen years,” said Northey.
Pictured above: Carol Balvanz, Policy Director, Iowa Soybean Association, spoke to a room of over 270 Iowa community college students, agricultural instructors/advisors, and FFA Seniors during the 3rd Annual Agribusiness Career Day on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.
The Agribusiness Showcase and Conference is the largest indoor field day in the nation. The annual two day event held at the Iowa State Fairground in the Varied Industries Building and highlights the latest in agricultural products and services, provides educational opportunities for crop advisors, engages the next generation of agricultural professionals, and stimulates the interaction between agribusinesses. This event brings together a variety of educational opportunities in addition to the industry exhibitors. Certified Crop Advisors picked up valuable knowledge both in the classroom and on the Showcase exhibit floor, community college students. For more information about the Agribusiness Showcase and Conference please visit www.agribizshowcase.com, email [email protected] or call the Agribusiness Association of Iowa office at 515-262-8323.