Cultivation Corridor recognized for its vision by Vilsack, Branstad and local community leaders

Today, the Capital Corridor, one of the eleven capitals of the Capital Crossroads vision plan, was unveiled to the community and nearly 200 guests as the Cultivation Corridor. Top national, state and community leaders gathered at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates for the presentation. Event speakers included Thomas J. Vilsack, United States Secretary of Agriculture, Governor Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and Cultivation Corridor Co-Chairs Dr. Steven Leath and Dr. Steve Zumbach.

“This initiative will have a tremendous impact on how our work in Iowa affects the rest of the world,” said Dr. Zumbach, attorney at Belin McCormmick, P.C. “Pieces of this vision are rooted in our region’s history, and it’s an honor to play a role in seeing this initiative come to fruition..”

The Cultivation Corridor is a strategic convergence of world-class agri-business, agbioscience, biotechnology, biorenewable and related advanced manufacturing thriving on the unique set of lifestyle, labor and environmental conditions found throughout central Iowa. It is an emerging innovation center situated on a quarter of the world’s richest topsoil, in an area with unrivaled agricultural tradition and a history of scientific discovery. It provides access to prime agricultural real estate, ample academic and professional talent, cutting-edge technology, essential infrastructure, and a diverse network of symbiotic industries. The wide ranging initiative seeks to establish central Iowa as the nation’s next great center of innovation and job creation, focused around the region’s existing economic development, workforce, research and educational assets.

“All of the pieces are in the right place for success,” said Dr. Leath, Iowa State University president. “This positions our region as a premier economic development corridor, allowing us to fully leverage our world class science and agricultural expertise.”

The primary goals of the Cultivation Corridor are:

  • Attract and retain top quality talent in the agbioscience sector throughout the region
  • Maximize the impact of localized economic development efforts and expand job and wealth creation in the agbioscience sector
  • Create a positive ripple effect statewide which captures and promotes its assets

“The Cultivation Corridor will have broad, positive economic implications for all of Iowa. More jobs for Iowans has always been, and will continue to be, our administration’s top priority. We welcome this as a way to continue keeping Iowa as a premiere place to locate,” said Governor Branstad.

The brand unveiling of the Cultivation Corridor signals the continued forward movement of how central Iowa can brand itself as a life-sciences hub that will attract talent, investment and innovation from across the country. With its potential for growth, the initiative represents a definitive opportunity to enhance the long-term economic health of the central Iowa area. It was announced at the end of March that Brent Willett will lead the Cultivation Corridor as executive director.

For more information, please visit