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Sarah Gomez


Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said that $501,500 in cost share is available through a new program designed to help farmers with organic certification expenses. Farmers are eligible for 75 percent reimbursement of eligible certification expense, limited to $750 per certification scope, which include: crops, wild crops, livestock and processing/handling. Read more »

Agriculture Organic Reimbursement


As the fastest-growing sector of today’s workforce, Americans age 55 and older play a vital role—a trend the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) says will continue through the 21st century.

Experience Works, a national nonprofit organization providing training, community service, and employment opportunities for older workers in 30 states and Puerto Rico joins the DOL in celebration the contributions of older workers and the great value they bring to the workplace during National Employ Older Workers Week, September 21-27, 2014. Read more »

employment older workers


The La Villa Mexican Restaurant opened for business September 28, spicing up area cuisine with a south of the border menu in Guthrie Center. Read more »

Guthrie County new business


Main Street Guthrie Center is working hard to revitalize downtown Guthrie Center. MSGC Director, Julie Bailey shares her thoughts on what constitutes a successful downtown revitalization program. Read more »

Guthrie County Main Street revitalization


College is not the only route to a financially rewarding career in central and western Iowa as more and more vocations will demand so-called “middle-skills” jobs, technical and craftsman and computer expertise, says Chad Schreck, a Carroll County native and economic-development leader for a cluster of eight counties in Iowa. Read more »


Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 4.5 per cent in August, but was down from the August 2013 rate of 4.7 per cent. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped slightly to 6.1 per cent in August compared to 6.2 percent in July.

“Iowa experienced gains in labor force, total employment and nonfarm employment in August,” said Teresa Wahlert, director of Iowa Workforce Development. “The state’s labor force participation rate also continued to trend up this month, as an increasing percentage of Iowans seek employment.” Read more »

unemployment rate


AMVC Veterinary Services held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of their new state of the art clinic on Sept. 12. The new clinic, on the north edge of Audubon, opened on Sept. 15 Read more »


Dean and Nancy Rogers are not your typical vineyard owners—and John 15 Vineyard in Scranton is not your typical Iowa Vineyard. It is one of the only, if not the only, commercial vineyards in Iowa that does not produce wine or sell grapes to wineries.

Instead, they offer a variety of grapes and grape products, “Just like Grandma used to make. Only better!” Homemade grape goodies include jams and jellies, syrup, jam-filled cookies and candies, pies, 100 percent grape juice, and mulled grape cider. Frozen grapes are available year-round and fresh grapes in season (usually September). Read more »

Agriculture Business Spotlight Greene County John 15 Vineyard Scranton Unique Business Vineyard


At Early Morning Harvest in Panora, the produce grown in the farm’s greenhouse—a major part of the operation—is watered through an “aquaponics” system that starts in nine large tanks full of tilapia.

The distinctive system fits with the farm’s larger goal. Early Morning Harvest, a family-run business, opened its doors in 2011 and includes the aquaponics greenhouse, an outdoor garden, a mill, free0range chickens and grass-fed cows. Read more »

Agriculture Business Spotlight Early Morning Harvest Farm Guthrie County Panora Unique Business


Greene County’s growth spurt — a community development equivalent of a 16-year-old shooting up 6 inches just months after getting his driver’s license — the $40-million casino-and-hotel development on the north side of Jefferson is far from the only game in town as evidenced by a raft of announcements and updates on projects in the county presented during the development group’s annual banquet last week at the Greene County Fairgrounds’ Clover Hall. Read more »


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a $20,000 grant to Deal’s Orchard near Jefferson to provide working capital for increased hard cider production. Read more »


The growing business gives a boost to the regional economy. Read more »


Tyson and Anne Greenwalt have built a business, Carver's Ridge, by engraving anything to make a gift personal. They engrave boulders to make memorials, landscape accents and more. Read more »


Panora Nursing & Rehab Center offers private rooms and new therapy gym Read more »


Something big is coming in terms of 3D printing and there is a Greene County connection. For those unfamiliar with the term, here is a quick run down.

It all starts with a three dimensional model designed on a computer. Once created, the printer's laser molds the image in liquid plastic. The plastic is a spool of filament that gets fed into a hot melting chamber where it is molted and laid down, one layer at a time, to build the object. Since plastic is deposited only where it is needed, 3D printers create no waste and are environmentally friendly. "It can be thought of as a glorified hot glue gun that can make very precise shapes in three dimensions," remarked creator Matthew Fiedler.

Fiedler is a prominent leader in the growing industry of 3D printing. A 1994 graduate of Jefferson-Scranton High School, he is the son of Richard and Lenore Fiedler, who reside on a farm south of Scranton.

Since a young age, the engineer has been intrigued in how things are made and what makes them work. The graduate from the University of Nebraska-Omaha first became interested in 3D printing in college. Years later, he and fellow co-founder Samantha Snabes became interested in developing a new way to recycle plastic and use it as a raw material to "print" new and useful products for consumption.

After discovering there was not a 3D machine available large enough to do what they needed, the pair decided to make one themselves. Together they founded re:3D, a social enterprise company focused on an industrial quality 3D printer called the Gigabot.

"We aim to essentially democratize manufacturing by giving more people access to 3D printing technology thus allowing them to have what amounts to a personal factory in their house or business," explained Fiedler.

Their machine, the Gigabot, can create objects up to 24" x 24" x 24" in size, about 30 times larger that a standard 3D printer on the consumer market. The Gigabot is made in the USA and it constructed with a rigid aluminum frame. The machine can work with a dozen different FDA approved plastics to build intricate creations. The company has sold their printer in 23 countries around the world and throughout the United States.

"It's amazing to see that 3D printers are used in all industries and segments of society," said Fiedler.

The Gigabot is used by small, medium and large businesses to create prototypes of new products before they hit the stores. A Houston public library installed a printer in their library for patrons to use. Artists, architects and inventors like the Gigabot because they can create new, unique and interesting concepts straight from their imagination.

Fiedler and his coworkers plan to continue developing the Gigabot by adding new features and capabilities this year. They are excited to focus on creating technology to recycle plastic into new feedstock material for the printer, leading to endless printing possibilities at low cost to machine owners.

"We are very thankful for all the opportunities we have been given to bring this exciting and truly wonderful and unique technology to people who could not previously afford it. We are also committed to the community we serve and will soon be announcing our give-away program where we donate one free Gigabot printer for every 100 that we sell. To sign up for the giveaway and to learn more about the Gigabot printer and re:3D, see our website" -The Scranton Journal Read more »


Tourism-related entities in Iowa have until August 4 to apply for grants available through the Iowa Tourism Grant program. Administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s Iowa Tourism Office, the grants provide financial assistance with marketing initiatives, meetings, events and professional development efforts.

Complete details about the program, including its administrative rules, can be found in the Industry Information section of

“The Iowa Tourism Office is committed to providing grant programs that help our partners create and execute efforts that strengthen Iowa’s travel industry and grow the local and state economies,” said Shawna Lode, manager of the Iowa Tourism Office.

Eligible applicants are tourism-related entities based in Iowa. Applicants must demonstrate a 25% cash match of the grant amount. The project must be completed in fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015). The minimum grant amount is $500 and the maximum grant amount is $5,000 per application.

Of the approximately $250,000 in funds available, $100,000 will be dedicated to marketing Vision Iowa projects. All Vision Iowa, Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) and River Enhancement Community Attraction and Tourism (RECAT) recipients are eligible to apply for funds to support marketing activities.

Tourism in Iowa generates more than $7.6 billion in expenditures, employs 64,400 people statewide and generates $328 million in state taxes. The Iowa Tourism Office is part of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. For more information about Iowa tourism, visit, call 800.345.IOWA or stop at any Iowa Welcome Center.
Read more »


A new resource packed with information about where to go and who to ask in Greene County about many different needs was rolled out last week. The Greene County Community Resource Directory 2014 is now available in hard copy at county libraries, the Greene County Extension office, and New Opportunities. It will soon be available for downloading at the Greene County Extension website,

The directory was the work of a subcommittee formed as part of Extension’s Midlife and Beyond program two years ago. One of that project’s goals was to determine how to let people know that they can live in Greene County, regardless of their age, and have what they need.

The 32-page directory has agency names and contact information for providers of services organized behind a table of contents that lists children and family services; child daycare; churches; counseling and substance abuse; disabilities and mental health; education/schools; employment; emergency and crisis numbers; financial; food; county and city offices; housing and transportation; libraries; medical and health; park and recreation; senior services; utilities; veteran services and organizations; and toll free help lines.

Resource directory 1Committee member Pam Olerich (pictured) called the directory “a dynamite resource.” “It’s not intended to be competition to a Yellow Pages directory, but it’s meant to be a companion, something to have at your fingertips,” she said.

Teresa Lansman of New Opportunities was a driving force on the project. Her job makes her a resource person frequently, and she offered input and detailed reviews of the work in progress to make it as usable as possible.

The directory is intended to be updated every two years. To that end, information that changes often, like church schedules, is not included. However, contact information for every church in the county is provided to make it easy to get something like a schedule. The online version has already been updated since the hard copies were printed.

The committee obtained a $500 grant from Community Partnership for Protecting Children to pay for printing of 1,250 copies. It will be provided to newcomers to the county and copies will be available for general use as needed. It is the committee’s hope that the hard copies will be a well-used resource for clergy, caregivers and service providers.

All information in the directory has also been provide to Iowa 2-1-1, a telephone database for health and human services information. Click here to visit the 2-1-1 website to learn more: Iowa 2-1-1

Committee members who compiled the Greene County Community Resource Directory are Olerich, Lansman, Judy Brinker, Ellie Menz, Mollie Scott, Sue Richardson and Michael Cooley. Read more »

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