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Success Stories

The Opportunity to Do More: USDA Pass-Through Loan Enables Manufacturing Company Expansion

Cecilia Lynch
Economic Development
A sign in front of an industrial building states Mid-States Material Handling and Fabrication

In Nevada, Iowa, a family-owned and operated business is expanding thanks in part to a $2 million loan from USDA.

Mid-States Material Handling and Fabrication is a manufacturer of agricultural material handling equipment, structural steel towers, catwalks, and other steel components used for commercial, agricultural, food, and energy industries.

Inside the manufacturing building, a sign on the wall cites the company's core values
Core values are listed on the wall inside the office area and showroom of  Mid-States Material Handling and Fabrication in Nevada, Iowa

The company is already expanding the facility footprint with help from the loan. Local subcontractors are busy completing interior finishes and erecting the two-story building superstructure in another section of the project. The funding will also help the company purchase manufacturing equipment to expand its current equipment that is used to serve customers.

Supports go up for the superstructure of the new expansion at Mid-States Material Handling and Fabrication in Nevada, Iowa
The superstructure goes up for the expansion project at Mid-States Material Handling and Fabrication

The  Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program at USDA Rural Development provides zero-interest loans to local utilities organizations which in turn pass the funding through to local businesses with interest to be paid back. Seven miles from Nevada, another small town is home to Colo Telephone Company. Under the provisions of the program, Colo Telephone is the actual loan applicant. Once USDA reviewers approved, the communications company passed the loan through to Mid-States.

The American flag waves in the breeze outside Colo Telephone Company in Colo, Iowa
Colo Telephone Company, Colo, Iowa

The communications company provides telephone and fiber-to-the-home to internet/broadband services to about 900 customers in six rural central Iowa communities. In 2023, Colo Telephone Company brought fiber to 30 underserved nearby locations to provide access to high-speed internet. Mid-States has been a customer of Colo Telephone Company for many years and was one of the first business recipients to bring fiber into Nevada.

“Most of our company leadership and team members live in the communities they serve,” said Shane Bellon, General Manager, Colo Telephone Company. “We want to leverage our resources and relationship with USDA to build a stronger local economy, because we are invested in the future of our own neighborhoods.”

In 2021, a large swath of Iowa was impacted by an intense derecho—a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms that continue on for more than 240 miles with extreme straight line wind gusts.

An agricultural storage facility damaged by a derecho in Iowa in 2021.
An agricultural storage facility damaged by a derecho in Iowa in 2021

After the derecho, Mid-States was involved with the repair or replacement of several grain storage and handling facilities. All sites were rebuilt over a period of 14 months. These installations helped individuals and communities recover economically from the fall-out of the storms.

“Not long ago, this office area and showroom was a welding shop, and we were making parts right here,” said Randy Vier, Senior Vice President, Mid-States Companies. “Over the years, we kept working hard. With great people on staff, and continuing demand for products, our business kept growing, and we have added space—over 75,000 square feet of manufacturing space with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment over the past 6 years.”

A semi-tractor in front of the industrial building site at Mid-States Material Handling and Fabrication in Nevada, Iowa
Semi-tractor with crane on the edge of the construction site

“Now we have the opportunity to do more,” Vier said as he stepped outside to view the project site. “This crane you see operating is our company’s, and we try to do as much construction for the new expansion as we can with our own employees from our construction division and crane division. We know we will get this build done safely and efficiently so that we can spur our growth, expand the jobs we offer locally to Nevada residents, and expand our local economy. The $2 million in USDA funding is really helping us get it done.”     


The American flag files high above the expansion construction site at Mid-States Material Handling and Fabrication
American flag flies high above the construction site at Mid-States Material Handling and Fabrication in Nevada, Iowa
Obligation Amount:
Year(s) of Obligation:
Congressional District:
  • Iowa: District 4