posted on 6/19/24

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) partnered with MidWestOne Bank to announce this year’s Coolest Thing Made in Iowa: the ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler, manufactured by Vermeer Corporation in Pella. Vermeer was crowned the winner at ABI’s Taking Care of Business Conference in Davenport on Wednesday.

 

In addition to selecting a winner, this competition is meant to draw attention to Iowa’s robust and diverse manufacturing industry and the careers available throughout the state. Iowa’s manufacturing industry contributes roughly $38 billion to the economy annually and employs over 225,000 Iowans.

 

Nominations were open to the public and announced mid-April. Nominated products represented manufacturers from across the state. After an initial popular vote round and a bracket-style tournament, four finalists competed for the Coolest Thing Made in Iowa trophy.

 

“The Coolest Thing Made in Iowa showcases the best of Iowa manufacturing,” said Mike Ralston, ABI President. “Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists and especially to the entire team at Vermeer.”

 

Vermeer was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Pella, Iowa. Vermeer is a family-owned and -operated company with team members, regional offices and dealers around the world. Vermeer revolutionized haymaking with the ZR5-1200, the world's first self-propelled baler that reduces the steps needed to make a bale and maximizes productivity through zero-turn capabilities.

 

“My grandfather was a farmer. He founded Vermeer on a spirit of innovation by simply searching for a better way to do hard work. Receiving this award is incredibly special as it indicates his legacy continues on,” said Mindi Vanden Bosch, Vermeer Vice President of Operations. “I am proud of the cool equipment we build and even more proud of the team who designs, builds and supports it. I'm also proud to have been nominated alongside an incredible line up of cool things made in Iowa. Thanks to ABI for bringing awareness to everything made in our great state.”

 

The Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) has been the voice of Iowa business since 1903. Its mission is to provide a strong, unified voice to business and industry on issues affecting Iowa employers. ABI is comprised of member companies representing all industries and sizes in Iowa’s 99 counties. ABI members employ more than 330,000 Iowans.  For video footage of the announcement, click here.

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