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Iowa Companies and ISU Extension Working Together to Support Agriculture and the Environment

Press Release

Manure Works, LLC a new start up company founded by the team that started Twin Lakes Environmental Services of Rockwell City, Iowa, has launched a new web based system for creating manure spreading records. Twin Lakes Environmental Services, LLC, specializes in writing Manure Management Plans (MMP) and Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMP) to ensure environmentally sound agriculture practices and manure application in compliance with all state and federal regulations. Manure Works, LLC will not only offer its new web based recordkeeping service to clients of Twin Lakes Environmental Services, LLC, but will also make the service available to other producers through environmental service provider  companies throughout the United States.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture more than 1.3 million tons of manure is applied as fertilizer each year to about 15.8 million acres of farmland in the United States. Manure Works will help livestock producers make sure they are applying manure at agronomic rates and in an environmentally correct manner.

Mike Sexton the Founder of Manure Works, LLC recognized that a Web-based Mapping application is what was needed so he attended a workshop offered by Iowa State University Extension that focused on working with Web Mapping and GIS. After discussing the technological options available for developing such a tool with workshop instructor and ISU Associate Professor Christopher J. Seeger, GISP, Manure Works LLC, contracted with Ames, Iowa based Winning Solutions, Inc. to provide software design, programming, web application hosting, application updates and other technology related services to build and deliver the new web based Manure Spreading Records system. Winning Solutions, Inc. is a technology company that offers a wide range of web and traditional client server custom software development services.

Sexton stated: "We chose Winning Solutions, Inc. because we believed they had the ability to build this sophisticated system on time and on budget and they did. WSI was able to demonstrate their competency to us not only in programming but their ability to integrate sophisticated mapping API's (Application Programming Interfaces) that allowed us to leverage powerful web based mapping technology. Next, we needed a company with experience incorporating weather data into our system so that we could document weather conditions on the days around the time our customers apply manure to farm fields. Both of these key capabilities help set our system apart from currently available solutions. Last, but possibly most importantly, we wanted to own the rights and source code to the software concept we created but we didn't want to hire a staff of programmers and try to do it ourselves. WSI's business model and standard policies met these requirements.” Mike further added “ Now that the initial development is done we are moving into the marketing phase. WSI has staff that have marketing expertise to help us design Power Point programs for trade shows as well as Web design.  It is very helpful to have the same people that designed the program work on the marketing as they already understand the product you are trying to market. WSI has been a one stop shop for all of our needs on this project and I could not be more pleased."

Mark Steffen a Senior IT Consultant with Winning Solutions, Inc. stated: We were very pleased to have been selected by Manure Works, LLC to develop the software that this company is based on. Our team enjoys working with technology and enabling solutions that help strengthen Iowa's economy. It is an added benefit when our work also helps protect Iowa's environment and water quality. We are looking forward to helping Manure Works, LLC enhance their web based Manure Recordkeeping system and grow their new business.

The system is available today for an annual fee of $300 per year per site to livestock producers at www.manureworks.com. There will be a one-time set up fee, in which Manure Works personnel will input all of your livestock and field data. This fee will be based on the number of fields you will have in your spreading plan, costing about $65.00 per field.

The system is also designed to be used by manure spreading contractors as well. Spreading contractors (companies that contract with livestock producers to apply their manure to fields as fertilizer) may use the system for free if their producer customers have subscribed. The system also allows the producer to make available their spreading records on a controlled basis to the regulatory departments. This may eliminate the need for stressful and time consuming in person meetings to sort through and review paper based spreading records.

The Manure Works web based manure recordkeeping and planning system provide a valuable service to livestock producers by saving time, automatically recording weather conditions around the time of spreading, providing a visual view of each of their fields showing what was spread where and when, giving them the ability to print out professional reports of their spreading activities and much more. The Manure Works system helps lessen the growing burden of dealing with increasingly stringent regulations and record keeping requirements. At the same times it gives applicators and producers the tools they need to more safely and accurately apply manure.

The system debuted at the 2009 Manure Expo in Boone, Iowa on July 22, 2009. The system attracted a great deal of attention and new subscriptions to the service are outpacing expectations.

For more information on Manure Works, please email mike@twinlakesenviro.com or call (712) 297-5530. Their address is 2203 Ogden Avenue, Rockwell City, Iowa 50559.

For more information on Winning Solutions, Inc. please email information@winningsolutionsinc.com or call Mark Steffen (515) 239-9900 extension 102. The mailing address is P.O. Box 726, 301 Alexander Ave, Suite C, Ames, Iowa 50010.

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