(Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)
(Christopher Gannon/Iowa State University)

Cambridge earns 9 out of 10 Advisor Satisfaction Rating

Cambridge announced that independent financial professionals have given Cambridge an adviser satisfaction rating of 9 out of 10. Cambridge’s annual adviser satisfaction survey is integral to the firm’s commitment to delivering an experience of service excellence to advisers and their investing clients. Over 3,200 financial advisers choose Cambridge for financial solutions and services, and they serve hundreds of thousands of investing clients across the country through their independent businesses.

“We concentrate on serving and supporting financial professionals with an independent mind-set and our annual adviser satisfaction rating is an important metric we carefully consider every year in our strategic planning process as we strive to make a difference,” said Amy Webber, Cambridge’s President and CEO. In place for many years, Cambridge’s stated purpose is to make a difference in the lives of advisers, their clients, and associates.

Webber noted, “Our high standards must always move even higher, but earning a 9 of 10 satisfaction rating in 2018, together with being voted Broker-Dealer of the Year and a Top Workplace represents what we see as an important satisfaction trifecta as measured by advisers and associates. We are in the business of serving those who serve others, and we are grateful for their confidence, trust, appreciation, and perhaps most importantly, our shared sense of purpose and values.”

Webber continued, “Cambridge has achieved this recognition by listening to our advisers’ thoughtfully, focusing on the adviser experience, and defining what matters most to them, including the experience of their investing clients.” Following are highlights of this strategic approach and the intent to continually optimize the Cambridge experience for advisers and their clients.

Gandy completes city government training

Fairfield City Council member Paul Gandy is among 192 city officials from across Iowa to be recognized for participation in the 2017-18 Municipal Leadership Academy.

The workshop series is conducted every other year after the regular municipal elections and is the only training opportunity that gives city officials in Iowa a broad-based look at the many aspects of city government. Topics covered include council meeting procedures, city budgeting and economic development.

Over 500 city officials attended parts of the MLA workshops, however, to graduate an official needed to attend three out of the four sessions. Graduates receive a certificate and lapel pin.

Sprouse receives ISU award

AMES — Eleven extension professionals, including Sara Sprouse, were honored during Iowa State University’s annual awards ceremony Sept. 14, in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

Sprouse, a human science specialist in nutrition and wellness, received the Professional and Scientific New Professional Award. Sprouse works with people throughout 12 south central Iowa counties, including Jefferson and Van Buren counties, to educate individuals to improve or maintain health and well-being. She has rapidly embraced resources and community partners throughout her area to deliver priority programs in the areas of food safety, food preservation, child nutrition, and healthy living and eating to both lay audiences and professionals.

Sprouse received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Indian Hills Community College, her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Iowa, and her Master of Science in Nursing at Mount Mercy University. Before joining Iowa State University Extension in June 2016, she worked as a nurse for 10 years at a county hospital and nine years as a school nurse. She has spent the majority of her career focusing on nutrition and wellness for all ages.

Sprouse has helped her teams collaboratively conduct critical reviews of programs and generate fresh ideas for leveraging research-based information to educate Iowans and help them develop stronger relationships, healthier families and thriving communities.

Two ISU Extension specialists move regions, new face is added to southeast Iowa

AMES — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has shuffled its field agronomists, with two specialists moving to different regions of Iowa and the addition of a new agronomist.

The counties that field agronomists Meaghan Anderson and Rebecca Vittetoe serve have changed. Anderson will now work with farmers in central Iowa and Vittetoe with those in east-central Iowa. Joshua Michel, hired as a field agronomist in May, serves the south-central counties.

Anderson will work with farmers in the extension field agronomist region 7, covering Boone, Story, Marshall, Tama, Dallas, Polk, Jasper, Madison and Warren counties. She is housed in the ISU Extension and Outreach Story County office and can be reached at 319-331-0058 or

Vittetoe will cover field agronomist region 8 which includes Benton, Linn, Jones, Poweshiek, Iowa, Johnson, Marion, Mahaska, Keokuk and Washington counties. She is located at the ISU Extension and Outreach Johnson County office and can be contacted at 712-540-3319 or

Michel works with farmers in field agronomist region 11, which is made up of Lucas, Monroe, Wapello, Jefferson, Wayne, Appanoose, Davis and Van Buren counties. He is located at the ISU Extension and Outreach Louisa County office and can be reached at 319-523-2371 or

The ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomist coverage area map and complete roster of agronomists is available online at

Pathfinders, team wins national award

Pathfinders RC&D was part of a team receiving the National Award for an Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Project from the federal bureau that oversees the regulation of coal mining and restoration of abandoned mine lands.

The 2018 Office of Surface Mining’s award was presented to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Shive-Hattery Engineering, and Pathfinders RC&D at the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land Programs conference in Williamsburg, Virginia, for the Logan project in Mahaska County.

This is one of the highest awards for abandoned mine reclamation. The project reclaimed a 98-acre abandoned strip coal mine located 9 miles southwest of Oskaloosa. The area had been mined from 1957-1968. Steep piles and embankments with highly acidic soil and water remained as dangers on the landscape until the area was reclaimed from 2015-2017.

Although Iowa has no active coal mines, there are more than 12,000 acres of abandoned sites that were mined before 1977. Pathfinders RC&D works with local partners and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to reclaim abandoned sites across Southeast Iowa. Working collaboratively with the U.S. Department of Interior/Office of Surface Mining, local partners, and landowners, reclamation sites are turned into beneficial areas that can be used for economic development, pasture, hayland, recreational areas, wildlife habitat and wetlands.

A grant awarded to Pathfinders from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation allowed project coordinators to seed the Logan site with plants that attract pollinators, in particular the monarch butterfly. The newly introduced vegetation is attracting local wildlife, including a goose nest and a beaver dam.

The Logan reclamation project provided several opportunities to adopt and refine new approaches to overcome technical challenges. The reuse of downed trees as wood chips and compost provided locally sourced organic matter while providing a cost-effective way to clear the site. Extensive flood plain creation restored the site to pre-mining conditions and helps mitigate flooding on-site and in the watershed. A waste byproduct from local water treatment facilities provided a new source for a high quality soil neutralizer to address the highly acidic soil and water conditions resulting from coal mining. These innovative reclamation strategies will benefit future reclamation projects in Iowa.

Pathfinders RC&D and the Mahaska Soil and Water Conservation District worked together to secure two Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program grants to help fund construction. In addition, these partners led efforts to inform and engage the public and provided funding support for SWCD summer interns who helped monitor water quality. Mahaska County Supervisors and the Mahaska County Engineer and Secondary Roads Department also supported the projected with in-kind contributions of erosion control. The Iowa Learning Farms helped host a public field day on-site which highlighted the impacts of land restoration and the importance of establishing monarch butterfly habitat. All of these partners worked in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Division of Soil Conservation.