Mid-Iowa Grain Inspection Service provides official service in eastern Iowa, southeast Minnesota and in central Illinois.
Renee Blickensderfer is the agency’s President and Official Agency Manager. Mid-Iowa agency was established in 1974. The agency has also purchased the McCrea agency in 2015, and the Central Illinois Grain Inspection Agency in 2017. The previous Central Illinois owner, Monte Wierman, is a member of the current Mid-Iowa board for continuity.
Renee credits the agency’s success to its employees. As Renee says, “if it wasn’t for your staff doing things right and working as team, you wouldn’t be in business”, and doing things right takes a lot of effort. The agency has approximately 70 employees. They are proud and gratified that 16 employees have been with providing official inspections for 5 years, 9 of them for 10 plus years, 20 for over 15-20 years, and 3 over 30 plus years. One part-time employee is a retired FGIS employee from the Cedar Rapids Field Office.
The Agency is headquartered in Cedar Rapids Iowa and has offices in Bloomington, Peoria Illinois, Clinton, Iowa, Clayton, Iowa, and Winona, Minnesota. They have a product testing laboratory in Elwood, Illinois that performs unofficial analyses of various products. The Elwood office recently obtained ISO 17025 certification for its Foss NIR DS 2500 that analyses protein, fat, fiber, moisture, ash, starch, calcium, sulfur, phosphorus, hunter color. The agency is proud of the work that went into obtaining the ISO 17025 certification.
Mid-Iowa samples rail, barge and truck shipments. They maintain 14 onsite rail laboratories and three truck laboratories. Corn and soybeans make up most of the grain inspected with some oats and wheat inspected at their Cedar Rapids office. The agency also performs many non-GMO tests unofficially. Mid-Iowa inspected approximately 400,000 official commercial trucks, 30,000 railcars, 2,000 barges, and 15,000 containers.
As for Renee, she began her inspection career during her junior year in high school working part time at the Decatur Grain Inspection Official Agency. As a farm girl, she enjoyed the work and the people with whom she worked. After graduation, at the age of just 19, she obtained her corn and soybean grading license from the Peoria Field Office. She was told by the field office that she was the youngest person to be licensed by them and the only female. Her hard work has been noticed and propelled her, first to Office Manager, then Regional Manager, and now President.
For more information about Mid-Iowa check out their website here.