Iowa Soybean Association Breaks Ground for New Offices

Gift of land north of Des Moines means ISA can build new headquarters without having to borrow money.

The Iowa Soybean Association broke ground on Monday, July 21, for a new office building that will serve as its headquarters. The site of the building is 1255 Southwest Prairie Trail Parkway, near the Des Moines Area Community College campus in Ankeny - a suburb north of Des Moines.

Construction will begin this summer with plans for completion by fall of 2009.

The property on which the new building will be constructed has been donated to ISA. Dennis Albaugh of DRA Development Company had a 3-acre parcel of land available in the Prairie Trail development in Ankeny. Albaugh and Harry Stine, president of Stine Seed Company at Adel, joined together to give the land to ISA.

On behalf of the soybean grower organization, ISA CEO Kirk Leeds expressed thanks for the generous gift. "Certainly, by stepping forward to donate this land to ISA, both Dennis and Harry have demonstrated their support and belief in ISA and the farmers we work for," says Leeds. "We are, indeed grateful."

ISA won't have to borrow money to build

Curt Sindergard, a soybean producer from Rolfe who serves as president of ISA, adds: "The offer of donated land was one we as a board could not refuse, and the timing is right. Between the generous donation of the land, industry support for the building and available funds, we don't anticipate needing to seek external financing for the completion of this project. That means significant savings for Iowa soybean farmers at the same time as we improve our ability to serve them."

In its 45-year history since being formed, ISA has always leased its office space. ISA's offices are currently located in Urbandale on the west edge of Des Moines. During the years, ISA has added numerous programs and has grown to 50 employees. During that time, it has modified its leased space at least three times.

The new structure will provide the lab and work space for ISA's programs, while allowing for 15% to 20% growth. In addition, the space will allow ISA to host board meetings and training sessions in its own space. Currently, the group needs to rent space offsite for group meetings. The site's proximity to the new FFA building, as well as DMACC, creates an opportunity for a number of partnerships.

Unique entrance will look like a grain bin

The new building's unique design features a grain bin-like entrance. John Heisdorffer, ISA's president-elect is a farmer from Keota, Iowa. He serves as chair of the building committee. "We are an organization of farmers serving farmers, and the grain bin helps communicate who we are," he says.

The building was designed by SVPA Architects of West Des Moines. Weitz Corporation, also of Des Moines, is the general contractor. As many soy-based construction products as possible will be used in constructing the building, from soy foam insulation to soy-based carpet backing and soy adhesives, says Heisdorffer. Most of the construction equipment will run on biodiesel – a 5% to 20% blend, depending on market availability.

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