January 27, 2006
A recipe prepared with Berkridge Pork won the 2006 People’s Choice Award at the 20th annual Taste of Elegance competition, sponsored by the Iowa Pork Producers.
Brice Dix, executive chef at the Bourbon Street Restaurant in Cedar Falls, prepared the winning entrée – a chipotle spiked barbeque braised pulled pork shoulder, was made with Berkridge Pork, a new brand of 100% Berkshire pork, headquartered in Sioux Center.
“I’m very happy that Berkridge chose to sponsor me in the event,” said Dix, the Iowa Restaurant Association’s 2005 Chef of the Year. “The fact that a majority of the 200 guests chose Berkridge as their favorite says a lot about the product.”
The Taste of Elegance is an annual event that features 12 of Iowa’s most accomplished chefs in direct competition with judging is based on taste, appearance and originality.
“This is a great honor for Berkridge,” said Troy Arends, director of sales and marketing for Berkridge Pork. “Brice Dix is an incredible chef, and we’re happy Berkridge can sponsor such a promising young talent.”
Berkridge Pork is a joint venture between Trans Ova Genetics and Pro Pork, both of Sioux Center. The hogs are raised on family farms across the Midwest and shipped world wide. Widely popular in Japan, Berkridge has recently begun distribution in the United States.
“We have a great product here. It’s been recognized abroad for more than a decade as a brand that means excellence in taste, texture, freshness and overall quality,” Arends said. “The Berkridge name is quickly becoming synonymous for those same attributes in the United States since we’ve begun to market our brand domestically. As part of that effort, we’re looking forward to working with great chefs like Brice all across the Midwest.”
January 26, 2006
The Iowa State Troopers Association has released its 2006 legislative priorities brochure, entitled “Making Good on the Promise.”
The brochure was produced again this year by Concept Works, a West Des Moines public and government relations firm that has worked with the state troopers since 2003.
“Iowa’s legislators and governor take a solemn oath to ensure the public’s safety. The members of the Iowa State Troopers Association also take an oath to serve, protect and uphold law and order. Iowa’s state troopers make good on that promise every day of the year, responding to life-and-death situations no matter what time of the day or night or the danger to their own personal safety,” said Gerri McCurdy, president of the Iowa State Troopers Association. “Last year, our elected officials took much-needed steps to make progress on the state’s public safety needs – and make good on the promise. The investment in two new training classes at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy was recognition of the urgent need for more troopers on Iowa’s highways. Yet, we know that more must be done in 2006.”
McCurdy notes that the Iowa State Patrol remains at lower staffing levels today than in the mid-1960s when the interstate highway system was under construction and continues to put troopers into vehicles with far too many miles on the odometer and a margin of safety that is far too thin.
January 13, 2006
Legislation sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem Danny Carroll in 2005 is raising the tourism profile of a local landmark, the Louis Sullivan-designed Jewel Box Bank, and other Iowa historic sites in 2006.
Carroll, a Grinnell Republican whose district includes parts of Poweshiek and Mahaska counties, sponsored House File 797 to promote 23 national historic landmarks within the state. The legislation directed the Iowa Department of Economic Development, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to work together to promote the landmarks.
“The stories of these sites are an important part of Iowa’s past and who we are as Iowans. There’s great value in that history – and we need to maintain our connection with it,” Carroll said. “I also know the economic value that tourism brings to communities with historic landmarks and it just makes good sense to promote cultural assets like these that might otherwise be overlooked.”
The Department of Economic Development (DED) has indicated that the 2006 Iowa Travel Guide, which will be released in mid-January, will include a special section on the state’s national historic landmarks, including the local bank building. Photographs on the guide’s cover will highlight two of the landmarks, the Old Capitol in Iowa City and the Dodge Museum in Council Bluffs. In addition, a special feature will be added to the state’s official tourism website, www.traveliowa.com, to promote Iowa’s landmarks.
The DED has informed Carroll that the Department of Transportation has already provided highway signage for all landmarks that have requested the service. In addition, DOT officials will contact other landmarks to determine if signage is appropriate for them.
“Our state government has resources at its disposal that can attract the public’s attention to historical sites like our favorite national landmark, the Jewel Box Bank. Those resources become even more effective whenever we can coordinate them and I’ll continue to encourage efforts to do exactly that,” Carroll said.