Wiese honored with Citizenship Award

Small Towns

Johnathan Hladik, policy director, johnathanh@cfra.org, 402.687.2100, ext. 1014; or Teresa Hoffman, senior communications associate, teresah@cfra.org, 402.687.2100, ext. 1012

NEVADA, IOWA – The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Kent Wiese, of Des Moines, to receive its 2021 Citizenship Award.

The Citizenship Award is given to an individual or individuals who actively participate in the civic process for creating public policy, and who work closely with the Center to advance public policies that strengthen family farms, ranches, and rural communities.

With support from Center staff, Kent hosted a press conference at his Amend Packing Company in 2021 to raise support for House File (HF) 857—legislation that supported Iowa’s small meat processors. Following the press conference, he took legislators and attendees on a tour of the facility. He also was quick to make calls and advocate to his local decision-makers, and he did several television and media interviews on behalf of the effort.

“Kent has been a strong advocate at the state level for small meat processors in Iowa,” said Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center. “The press conference Kent hosted helped generate energy for the legislation, and soon after, HF 857 passed without opposition.”

After HF 857 was signed by the governor, Kent was asked to serve on the Artisanal Butchery Task Force, which studied workforce challenges in Iowa’s meat processing industry, particularly for small-scale meat lockers. The task force paved the way for the establishment of a community college butchery education program.

“Kent continues to be a great advocate for small meat processors across Iowa, even in a time of backlog,” Hladik said.

No award ceremony will be held this year because of the pandemic.

# # #