Last week, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board announced funding approval for five projects based in Story County. Together, these five projects will create 330 jobs and have a combined $185,535,400 in capital investment.


“It’s a great day for Story County,” said Danculhane, president and CEO of the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission (AEDC). “These five projects further add to the incredible job growth we’ve experienced. This could not be scripted any better with the geographic balance of these opportunities touching four communities here in Story County. It underscores the importance of working together. The collegiality of city and county officials working hand in hand with our team here at the AEDC is highly impactful and we are seeing the benefits of these strong partnerships”


Founded in 1938, M.H. Eby is an industry-leader in manufacturing aluminum truck bodies and livestock haulers. Eby plans to expand its existing facility in Story City by doubling workspace and purchasing additional equipment. This expansion will not only allow for the growth of existing lines, but position Eby to introduce additional product lines into the facility. The board awarded Eby $176,000 in direct financial assistance, as well as tax benefits from HQJ for this $4.7 million capital investment. The project is expected to create 64 jobs.


“We have been pleased to be a part of the Story City community since 2005,” said Travis Eby, president of M.H. Eby. “The quick response by all local and state partners to support our multi-faceted expansion project is impressive. We look forward to build on the strong foundation we have in the community to bring this expansion opportunity to reality in Story County.”


3M has been a strong corporate partner in the Ames community and plans a significant investment in its current facility to expand and grow. The project will repurpose roughly 30,000 square feet in the 3M Ames facility. This project also includes increasing the capacity of utilities and adding climate controls to parts of the plant, both of which are required by the new processes. The board awarded tax benefits to 3M for this project that will be a capital expenditure of approximately $27.8 million and create 16 new jobs.


Burke Marketing Corporation, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corporation, plans to expand utilization at its manufacturing plant, including an addition of 200,000 square feet at its Nevada location to accommodate increased production. The board awarded the company tax benefits via HQJ for this proposed $150 million capital investment. This project is expected to create approximately 210 jobs.


Automed, Inc. is a leading automatic livestock medication delivery company with global headquarters in Ames. Automed is poised for explosive growth and is excited to grow its worldwide center for excellence in a new state of the art 12,500 square foot office, research and development and production facility in Huxley. Automed was awarded a $300,000 low-interest loan to assist with these expansion efforts. This funding will be used to hire and train up to 40 employees, build out the new office/research and production facility and facilitate new R&D and commercialization efforts.


Nebullam is a comprehensive technology provider to new and expanding indoor farmers in leafy green, microgreen, herb and pharmaceutical plant production. For Nebullam software to maintain automation of growing tasks while increasing crop yields, technology refinement must occur within Nebullam machine vision applications. Nebullam, located in Ames, received a $100,000 Demonstration fund loan to continue development and refinement of technology.


The AEDC organizes and promotes sound economic growth in Ames and central Iowa by stimulating the expansion of existing industry, attracting new enterprises, and assuring a favorable community climate for new ideas and economic growth. To learn more, visit www.AmesEDC.com.