Names & Notes, Feb. 5, 2017


Watson receives Gold Eagle Award

STATE CENTER — Farmers National Company, the nation’s leading farm and ranch management and brokerage company, is announcing that Ben Watson, AFM, was recently presented the Farmers National Company Gold Eagle Award for his outstanding efforts in real estate sales.

Watson, farm manager and real estate sales agent with Farmers National Company, received the company’s top award for real estate sales in 2016.

Watson can be contacted at 641-483-4249 or 515-971-7951, by email at, or visit

JA of Eastern Iowa receives Five Star and Peak Performance Awards

CEDAR RAPIDS — Junior Achievement USA has recognized the staff and board of directors of Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa with the 2016 Five Star and Peak Performance Awards. The Five Star Award recognizes the hard work and efforts by staff and board of directors in the areas of financial solvency, program impact, program quality and overall management effectiveness.

The Peak Performance Award, which is awarded to 18 of the 112 national area offices, recognizes superior annual performance by a Junior Achievement area staff team in achieving growth in students reached or contact hours delivered, while still sustaining financial and operational soundness. Further, recipients must rank within the top 75 percent of all markets in student growth or contact hours and have evidence of strong Junior Achievement brand alignment.

JAEI is proud of the community partnerships that it has created and maintained with schools, businesses and its volunteers. Without these partnerships, JAEI would not be able to sustain and grow the organization into what it is today.

During the 2015-16 school year, 1,253 volunteers taught Junior Achievement programming in 166 schools throughout Eastern Iowa. JAEI is honored that the community believes in the work that we do at Junior Achievement, and sees the value of investing in quality programming that is aligned with the Iowa Core.

Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa provides its programs to 43,063 students in a 10-county footprint which includes Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Delaware, Grundy, Iowa, Johnson, Jones and Linn counties. During the 2015-16 school year, the organization expanded its reach to Butler, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Tama and Winneshiek counties through distance learning.

Rivervale Veterinary Clinic sold to Balvanz

UNION — Dr. Ralph T. Strother, DVM, is informing the public that he have sold the Rivervale Veterinary Clinic to Dr. Casey Balvanz. She grew up in Hardin County north of Hubbard, graduating from Hubbard Radcliffe High in 2005. As a younger person she was active in 4-H. She pursued her interest in livestock through cattle, sheep, horse and dog projects shown at the Hardin County and Iowa State Fairs.

Balvanz graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2013 after receiving her BS in Animal Science from Iowa State in 2009. While in veterinary school, she worked summers at Acadiana Equine Clinic in Lafayette, La., as well as at the Granbury Equine Clinic in Granbury, Texas. Balvanz has spent the last 3.5 years as a veterinary associate in the Green’s Creek Veterinary Hospital near Stephenville, Texas. While there, Casey worked with Dr. Joe Cannon, gaining surgical experience as well as a firm base in small and large animal medicine.

In December of 2016, Balvanz moved back to her home town of Hubbard, and plans to set down roots, partnering with her family on their commercial cow/calf herd and ewe flock. She is in the process of purchasing Rivervale Veterinary Clinic in Union and hopes to start operation of the Clinic after Feb. 8. Balvanz can be reached at the existing clinic phone at 641-486-5485.