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Economic development takes center stage at Tri-State Development Summit

5 months, 3 weeks ago by Bryan Nichols

Southeast Iowa fertilizer plant hailed as one recent success

More than 300 attendees heard from several speakers about economic development issues during the Tri-State Development Summit on Wednesday at Hannibal La Grange University.

Among the speakers was Iowa Governor Terry Branstad who highlighted several projects going on in Southeast Iowa including the Iowa Fertilizer Company Plant under construction in Lee County.

Branstad noted that there are currently 14 hundred construction workers working on the facility.

Other speakers noted that in order to bring in a new business - the area needed to be ready for it.

Iowa Fertilizer President Shawn Rana  said the Weaver, Iowa location was ready

"When we picked a site, we looked for a few key attributes," Rana said.

Those attributes include the availability of raw materials, access to rail and good highway systems and a good workforce. "and," Rana said, "we found all of those things at Weaver and that area very well."

He said Iowa Fertilizer Company was looking for talented but underutilized people and education opportunities.  "Southeastern Community College is very strong in that area," Rana said.

Rana also noted that Weaver is also very near the company's customer base.

He also noted that the Mississippi River has been very important in the construction of the facility by allowing easier transportation of very large and very heavy equipment.

Transportation - and more specifically - water transportation was the overall theme of the summit.


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