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Best of NAMA 2024

Vermeer Corporation team members pose with their Coolest Thing Made in Iowa trophy during the Iowa Association of Business & Industry (ABI) annual conference in Davenport. Front row, from left, are: Vermeer team members: Kent Thompson, R&D senior engineering manager; Stan Fynaardt, assembler III; Terry Patterson, assembler II; and Mindi Vanden Bosch, vice president of operations. Back row, from left, are: MidWestOne CEO Chip Reese and ABI President Mike Ralston.

Quad Cities Regional Business Journal reports:

The coolest of the cool products manufactured in the Hawkeye State is an innovative piece of equipment designed to make the grueling work of baling hay a much easier job for today's farmers.

Vermeer’s ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler
Vermeer Corporation, a third generation, family-owned company based in Pella, Iowa, won the bragging rights - and a shiny trophy - when its ZR5-1200 self-propelled baler was named winner of the first-ever Coolest Thing Made In Iowa contest. The Coolest Thing Made was announced on Wednesday, June 5, during the Iowa Association of Business & Industry "Taking Care of Business Conference," which is being held this week in Davenport.

Vermeer beat out three other finalists - and dozens of original nominees - in a public voting process to capture the new award created by ABI and sponsored by MidWestOne Bank.

The Vermeer self-propelled baler, the first in the world, reduces the steps needed to make a bale and maximizes productivity through zero-turn capabilities.

Third generation Vermeer leader Mindi Vanden Bosch, vice president of operations, accepted the honor on behalf of the industrial and agricultural equipment company that was founded 75 years ago by her grandfather, Gary Vermeer.

"My grandfather was a farmer. He founded Vermeer on a spirit of innovation by simply searching for a better way to do hard work," she told the ABI luncheon crowd. "Receiving this award is incredibly special as it indicates his legacy continues on."

The other finalist products and companies were: Musco Sports Lighting, made by Musco Lighting, Oskaloosa; a custom built pipe organ produced by Dobson Pipe Organ Builders Ltd., Lake City; and Safe T Home, manufactured by Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield.

To read the entire article click here.

To read about the four finalists click here.

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