State marketing and promotion program connecting consumers to Iowa products moves closer to launch
DES MOINES, Iowa (Dec. 8, 2022) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that Beth Romer has been named the Choose Iowa Program Director. Choose Iowa will connect consumers to Iowa products and the growers, producers, processors and entrepreneurs that produce them through a state branded marketing program. The program, which is housed within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, was enacted by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds in 2022.
“With Choose Iowa, we are establishing an easily recognizable brand that can be used by farmers, producers, processors, farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants and many others in the supply chain to connect directly with consumers,” said Secretary Naig. “Choose Iowa combines the prestige of Iowa’s global agricultural reputation with the entrepreneurial ingenuity that exists in all 99 counties, and we are delighted to welcome Beth Romer back home to Iowa to lead this important program.”
Raised on her family’s Century Farm, Romer earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing from Wayne State College and a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University. She has extensive marketing and communications experience in agribusiness and production agriculture, including with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s state branded marketing program. Beth and her husband James live on a farm near Altoona.
Choose Iowa grants available
Though the program’s full launch will be forthcoming, one important aspect is immediately available for participation. Interested individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations that are currently living or operating in Iowa may apply for a Choose Iowa Marketing and Promotion grant by December 15, 2022.
These competitive Choose Iowa grants are available for new processing, packaging or sales techniques that add value to the commodities they produce. For example, a dairy farmer may apply for funding to invest in on-farm processing or packaging equipment to sell cheese to grocery stores and farmers markets, or a brewery might invest in canning equipment to expand retail sales and distribution. Grant funding can also be used for employee training and continuing education programs. Preference will be given to small and medium size businesses. In response to strong interest last year, the Iowa Legislature increased the availability of funding which enables more grants to be awarded this year.
Details about the grant program, including financial matching requirements, application and eligibility, are available at chooseiowa.com/grant-program. Applications should be submitted through the online portal and are due by 5 p.m. CT on December 15, 2022. Grant recipients will be announced in early 2023. Questions about the Choose Iowa Marketing and Promotion grant can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Led by Secretary Mike Naig, the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship serves the rural and urban residents that call Iowa home. Through its 14 diverse bureaus, the Department ensures animal health, food safety and consumer protection. It also promotes conservation efforts to preserve our land and enhance water quality for the next generation. Learn more at iowaagriculture.gov.