VAA Steering Committee

Are you thinking about developing new Ag industry in O'Brien County or expanding your current operation?


The Value-Added group was formed in 1998 when the O' Brien County Economic Development Corporation (OCEDC) identified the need for a coordinated effort to promote value-added agriculture. The VAA Steering Committee meets on a monthly basis and oversees the activities of its subcommittees. Areas addressed by the VAA committees include grain, dairy, poultry education and financial.

What is Value-added Agriculture?

Value-Added agriculture includes any activity that takes an agricultural product and adds value to it, before it leaves the area in which it was produced. For more information about value-added agriculture in Iowa visit

Mission Statement

The O' Brien County Value-Added Agriculture Committee seeks to enhance the quality of life in O' Brien County by adding value to our agricultural resources.

Vision Statement

The O' Brien County Value-Added Agriculture Committee (OCVAAC) is a diverse group of producers, community and agri-business leaders that will search out and assist with the establishment of Value-Added Agriculture to create economic opportunities for residents and to develop marketable products using ag resources in a manner consistent with our quality of life statement.


  • Creation of jobs
  • Improve/maintain quality of life
  • Find projects consistent with mission
  • Environmental responsibility
  • Increase profits for producers
  • Promote communication and cooperation among producers and processors
  • Enhance heritage/way of life
  • Economic development of agricultural products (critical mass)
  • Bring into reality efficiency in terms of people, products and environment
  • Educate citizens and producers about the benefits and possibilities of
    Value-added agriculture

Business Services

OCVAAC will provide assistance for the establishment or expansion of businesses adding value to agricultural products. The appropriate initiative team will work with business owners or operators and entrepreneurs to determine the likelihood of success for their project in O' Brien County, the steps that are necessary to make it happen, and other agencies and individuals who can assist in the process.

If OCVAAC believes the business is a good fit for O' Brien County, the Financial Initiative Team will work with the business to identify likely sources of funding. OCVAAC will provide appropriate letters of support for grant and loan applications and will provide guidance in putting these applications together.

Value-Added Agriculture Teams Steering Committee:

Daryl Haack - Farmer, Corn Growers Association Board of Directors, Iowa Renewable Fuels Board of Directors the Surface Transportation Board Advisory committee - Primghar
Brent VanBeek- North West REC  - Orange City
Kiana Johnson - O'Brien Co. Economic Development  -  Primghar
Tim Peelen - Dairy Farmer - Sanborn
Harvey Van Ess - Dairy Farmer - Sanborn
Larry Peelen - Dairy Farmer; Iowa Corn Promotion Board Member - Sanborn
Brett Peelen - Owner, 5th Gen Ag - Primghar
Brad McDowell - Farmer - Primghar
Marsha Rehder - Ag Program Coordinator, Iowa State University Extension & Outreach - Primghar