MANLY, Iowa – Iowa is a leader in the nation’s agriculture and on Monday, Iowa Agriculture Sec. Bill Northey got a closer look at innovations around the state.
As part of a seven-stop tour across north Iowa Northey is stopping in visiting elementary schools, rotary clubs, and different ag-businesses.
One of the businesses he spent some time at was the Manly Terminal looking at how renewable energy products are making their way around the country.
He says what he likes most about tours like this, is getting a chance to ask questions and be able to dive a little deeper into how ag-companies operate.
“We are all so interconnected,” he said, “agriculture creates lots of different businesses and those businesses create other businesses, and it all makes us more efficient.”
Northey says one thing that struck him at the Manly Terminal is the company’s efficiency.
He said he didn’t realize how much product the state was producing and was pleasantly surprised to hear that manufacturers have turned to railcars as their approach to shipping it nationwide.
As a renewable biofuel source, the future for corn oil is bright and project manager for the North Iowa Railway Brad Sabin showed off their efforts as he took Northey on a tour around the terminal grounds.
“We are more agriculturally based here and love the opportunity to share our story and how things are going here.”
Sharing the importance of the agriculture industry is something that Sabin and Northey found they have in common.
“We remind folks how significant agriculture is in the state,” Northey said, “there’s only three countries in the world that produces more corn then Iowa and there’s only four countries that produce more soybeans than Iowa, we have a lot to be thankful for.”
Sharing experiences obstacles that come with such a large operation was another interesting part of the morning.
Sabin explained how the creek that runs through their property was apparently home to a rare red minnow and their plans for bridge construction was put on hold while research was done to preserve the creature.
After receiving a pricey bid of $24,000 for a company to come in and investigate, the Manly Terminal brought in interns from the University of Iowa and turned their obstacle into a learning experience.
Northey is in his second term as Iowa Ag Secretary and has a farm of his own just outside of Spirit Lake.