May 2012 Communication

AgVA Annual Meeting

The 14th Annual Meeting of Ag Ventures Alliance was held on Tuesday, March 27th at the Best Western Holiday Motor Lodge in Clear Lake, IA.

The featured speaker was Kevin Kimle, Rastetter Chair of Agricultural Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University. Kevin also serves as Director of the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative and is a faculty member in the Economics Department. He has worked in a variety of capacities in agriculture with experiences ranging from two start-up companies, the seed industry, venture capital, futures markets, and agricultural and trade policy.

Ag Ventures Alliance officers, committee chairs and project leaders pre-sented reports on their respective activities for the past year.

Several companies that Ag Ventures Alliance is working with were there to speak about their company and products. They had display tables in the back of the room where members were able to ask questions and look at the products.

New Ag Ventures Alliance Officers

The new AgVA officers include: Mark Hanna, President; Chuck Souder, Vice President; Bob Cole, Treasurer; Tom Hurd, At-Large, and Randy Heitz, At-Large. Thank you to Michael Branstad for serving as President this past year.

AgVA Sponsored Activity

AgVA is one of the sponsors for the Iowa Master Conservationist Class. Class sessions include: Tuesdays, 6 - 9:30 pm July 10,17,24, & 31; August 7,14 & 21 and Saturday 9 am - 5:00 pm on August 11. Classes will take place at various locations in Franklin, Floyd, and Cerro Gordo Counties. Registration Fee $75. Please register by June 25, 2012. Make checks payable to: Cerro Gordo County Extension. Questions? Call 641-423-0844.

Accredited Investors

Due to securities laws and public stock offering costs, some investment opportunities are only offered as a "private offering" to "accredited investors". If you don't think you are listed as an accredited investor but want to know if you qualify, visit our "Become a Member" section. The qualifications are listed on page 3 of the membership application. If you qualify but are not identified as such, print the page, complete it, and send it to Ag Ventures Alliance, 2023 S Federal Ave, Mason City, IA 50401.

New Members

If you know of anyone that would like to become a member of Ag Ventures Alliance please print off a membership application or have them contact our office at 641-494-2368.

Monthly Email Newsletter

Each month Ag Ventures Alliance members can receive a brief email newsletter of activities at Ag Ventures Alliance. Included with the email message are updates to the Ag Decision Maker agricultural business web site from ISU Extension. If you are not receiving the email newsletter, send your email address to Cathy Kaune at

AgVA Business Developers

As Ag Ventures Alliance business developers, Rusty Schmidt and Brad Saeger are seeking and identifying opportunities in value-added agriculture. Their first and ongoing task is positioning AgVA as leaders in ag business development to become the go-to organization for entrepreneurs in this industry.

Their first goal is to get the first and best look at projects for our members. A second goal is to provide development assistance for members who are entrepreneurs attempting to start their own business.

Projects are then presented to the AgVA membership as potential investment opportunities for members. Opportunities presented to the membership this past year were Aqua Ventures Alliance, Feedlogic, and Laurel BioComposites.

Brad Saeger

Brad Saeger

Rusty Schmidt

Rusty Schmidt

The project pipeline is very full right now with ideas/businesses but we are always looking for more especially from our members. Please contact Rusty at 641-425-8946 or Brad at 320-894-0515.



Happle's Gourmet Foods

Happle'sAgVA has been working with Happle's Gourmet Foods, a nationwide purveyor of some of the high-est quality desserts available in the country.

Happle's featured their new line of certified organic pies at the 2004 All Things Organic Show in Chicago. The response for the business has been overwhelming.

Happle's will be hosting an Open House on May
17th, 2012, from 1 - 6 pm at 3195 Highway 6
Trail, Homestead, IA 52236. You can find out
more about them by visiting their website

RDP Update

Rural Development Partners held their Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 19, 2012. At this meeting an election was held for the board of directors.

The board of directors is as follows: Don Hofstrand, Chris Edgington, Clarence McGregor, Jim Eilers, and Scott Mikkelson.


Jude Conway, Executive Director,
Cathy Kaune, Administrative Assistant & Board Secretary,
Brad Saeger, Business Development Consultant,
Rusty Schmidt, Business Development Consultant,

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