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Ag industrial park warrants support

By Staff | Dec 2, 2011

Visiting our nation’s capital is always an adventure.

Walking the hallways where history was made and continues to unfold is seductive for even the most jaded among us. One cannot help but be impressed – and maybe made a bit uneasy – by the massive bureaucracy at the governmental heart of the world’s most powerful nation.

Whether we like it our not, what happens in Washington, D.C., has ramifications right here in Fort Dodge and north central Iowa. Despite widespread, justifiable disenchantment with some federal spending, it is important to remember that many government programs and projects do help accomplish important goals.

That’s why a delegation of government and community leaders from Webster County journeyed to Washington earlier last month to champion federal funding to help develop the North Central Ag Industrial Park in Webster County just west of Fort Dodge. The major goal was to build support for a $7 million grant to pay for extending railroad tracks.

The Fort Dodge area is especially attractive to potential corporate investors in part because of the excellent railroad access that already exists. If the federal grant materializes, that outstanding asset will be strengthened.

The Ag Industrial Park is proving a magnet for investment. It is already the home to Valero and Cargill. Before long, those important manufacturers will be joined by CJ Cheiljedang’s amino acid plant – a $323 million investment that was announced only a few weeks ago.

Developing the North Central Industrial Park further will create additional private sector jobs. It is a stellar example of exactly the type of government investment needed to help restore the American economy to robust health.

Given the difficult budget environment in Washington, obtaining funding for worthwhile projects is more difficult than in years past. Government grants that genuinely boost the private sector’s ability to grow jobs, however, are good economic policy even during a time when austerity is in order.

Expanding the capabilities of the North Central Ag Industrial Park is important to the economic future of Webster County and north central Iowa. Farm News strongly supports federal approval of this grant.

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