Primghar, Iowa — The Iowa Area Development Group (IADG), has honored the O’Brien County Value-Added Agricultural Committee (OCVAAC) and Executive Director Kiana Johnson with the Silver Shovel Award during an event at the O’Brien County Fair.
The Silver Shovel Award honors outstanding leadership, innovation and achievement in business and community development. In presenting the award Mike Meissen, vice president of value added agriculture for IADG, highlighted numerous accomplishments of OVAAC . Meissen recognized their comprehensive approach to economic development in leading business and value added agricultural development efforts within O’Brien County. Kiana Johnson was recognized for her leadership of OVAAC and success in promoting the expansion of value added agriculture and its positive impact on the quality of life for the citizens of O’Brien County. Business successes within the county include the VeraSun Energy Corporation, Van Ess Dairy, Rhorda Dairy and the Summit Dairy, to name a few. OVAAC also successfully focused on industry and supply chain growth, both vertical and horizontal, and identified the vendors and suppliers crucial to that growth. Recruitment efforts include showcasing the value added agricultural opportunities in O’Brien County regionally and nationally at numerous agricultural trade shows that match those identified target businesses.
The Silver Shovel Award also brought with it a $1,000 contribution from the Iowa Area Development Group Community Foundation. The financial award will allow OVAAC to advance economic development through contributions to local 501(c)(3) organizations. The IADG Community Foundation was established to facilitate community based philanthropy throughout rural Iowa, promote entrepreneurship and advance economic development.
The Silver Shovel Award was established to recognize significant accomplishments of our rural development partners. IADG was established in 1985 to help its utility sponsors and their communities promote and foster economic development. The organization and its utility sponsors have been instrumental in facilitating over 1,800 projects, $7.56 billion in investment and creating over 45,000 jobs for rural Iowa.