The Story Behind It All…
To tell our story, we have to back up about 20 years to a warm spring night in Ames, IA. Jim and I met when I was initiated into Iowa State University’s Freshman class of the Block & Bridle Club. He was the calm and fun loving senior and I was the awkward & of course loud freshman. We met, I thought of him as a big brother type and he thought I was loud. No surprise.
The following fall, I signed up for Animal Science 114 which included a lab. As a “Super Senior” he was my Teaching Assistant. He was hard on me. Expected me to know everything about livestock, including forage measuring! He would send my tests back with the phrase “Come see me” written across the top of it. I thought, “Man, this guy is a tough TA!” I was under the impression that 114 Lab was a fun and easy class. I began to ask my friends if they had to go see the TA all the time too? Were they expected to re-do all of these assignments? Turns out they weren’t meeting with the TA all the time. The 114 professor encouraged it. Our first date was a cook-your own steakhouse, he was hooked when I told him I wanted my steak medium-rare. I was hooked by that lop-sided grin and livestock talk.
Nearly two years after our first date we walked down the aisle and committed to forever. The babies came fast after that. We are on the two year plan as Jim likes to say. The arrival of our first baby made us want to get out of the city and back to the farm. Jim and my dad have always gotten along well together. I suppose it might have to do with the mirrored personalities of father and daughter. We loved the church we were married at in Atlantic and we wanted to be a part of a family farm. Off to Atlantic we went.
Jim had done some extensive study of nutrition in college and had made it his focus in grad school. We were so grateful when Merrill Neary offered him a job with Peets Feeds out of Fremont, Nebraska. Jim had the book knowledge and Merrill had nearly 40 years of experience in the feed business. The learning curve was steep and more than once, Merrill baled Jim out of a tough situation. Those were the years of living on prayer and surviving, raising little ones. Over the past 15 years, we have been able to build a thriving business. Lots of loyal and truly wonderful people. People are what matters. One of Jim’s favorite quotes:
“People buy from people not companies”
It was that commitment to people, that inspired us to start Iowa Gold back in 2005. With a cell phone, a Chevy Impala, and a simple desire to help local producers, Jim began the process of creating the nutrition service company Iowa Gold is today. Effective services, integrity, and saving people money are a passion of his. My heart is taking care of people. Even in the early, humble years, baking pies as a thank you to customers at Christmas time. This theme of helping others has been carried forward by the excellent and committed team members Iowa Gold employs. Affordable quality products and services that help people, Iowa Gold’s hallmarks.
“After 16 years in the by-products brokering business, lots of work, and a ton of amazing customers, we decided it was time to narrow the lane of work we are in. In January 2022, Iowa Gold became a valuable part of the Balance Forward team of Corning, IA. A bittersweet, but needed move for our team.”
It was a need in our local community that inspired the launch of Renew Ag Supply in 2013.
People are our why. Once again, with the goal of providing needed services in the area of bulk and bagged supplements & animal health products. We, Jim and Danelle, have worked together to create a solid and helpful company that focuses on industry improvement and success for producers. Renew Ag Supply has grown and changed and continues to mature. After almost 6 years at a brick and mortar, in 2019 we moved the store to its current farm location, 3 miles from town. Our crew got smaller and more skilled, but the passion for helping others grew. Today, we serve multiple producers across the nation, while maintaining our original commitment to southwest Iowa and its people. People matter, producers and team members alike.
In June of 2019, we again stepped out with a desire to take care of others, with the founding of Renew Livestock Company.
My experience growing up at a feed yard, education in Public Service & Administration in Ag, and 14 years experience in marketing and promotions make for a pretty special blend of skills. Jim has worked in the area of Value Added Livestock marketing for nearly 20 years. Growing up marketing breeding stock as a kid, learning valuable skills in college including; nutrition, meat science, and animal husbandry, and then in partnership with A To Z Feeders for many years, he has been able to hone a complete & unique set of skills not often seen in the industry.
Our passion is helping people and providing valuable services and networking for livestock producers. Over the years, through the twists and turns of the industry we have had the privilege of connecting with many wonderful people. With these three companies, we have been blessed to learn, grow and see some success while providing valuable service and skills to customers. We are grateful.
Grateful too, that this industry has supported and provided for our family of seven. It has allowed us to teach and offer our five kids the chance to grow and mature as people. People who love the Lord and honor Him with our work; through helping others.
It’s who we are. It’s our passion.