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Petrzelka Elected President for CARET North Central Region

  • Written by CATHANN A. KRESS

He represents Iowa State University in national grassroots organization

Bob-Petrzelka-crAMES, Iowa – Iowan Bob Petrzelka recently was elected north central region president of the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching. He has been a delegate to this national grassroots organization since 2013, representing Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

CARET was created in 1982 by deans of agriculture at land-grant universities, including Iowa State University. The organization works closely with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, and is composed of representatives from the 50 states, the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. It advocates for greater national support and understanding of the land-grant university system's food and agricultural research, extension and teaching programs that enhance the quality of life for all people.

“CARET also works with national agricultural organizations to tell agriculture's ‘story.’ Bob has done a great job telling Iowa State’s story and we’re pleased he is taking this leadership role,” said Cathann Kress, Iowa State University vice president for extension and outreach.

Petrzelka, of Mt. Pleasant, is president and founder of Geode Forestry Inc., located in Swedesburg. A native of Cedar Rapids, he received his bachelor’s degree in forest resource management from Iowa State University in 1979.

“Bob understands the value of education and partnerships. In addition to representing Iowa State with CARET and advocating at the national level, Bob volunteers at numerous forestry field days and shares his knowledge at environmental education events here in Iowa. He shares ISU Extension and Outreach’s vision for a strong Iowa,” Kress said.

The CARET North Central Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

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College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Honors Geodeforestry's Gretchen Cline

  • Written by Super User

Superior Achievement Award for Early or Mid-Career Alumni
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Honoring distinguished College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni under 40 years old who have excelled in their professions and who are providing outstanding service, leadership, and involvement in their communities

Gretchen Cline
BS Forest Resource Management '97
Letts, Iowa

Gretchen Cline grew up on farm near Persia, Iowa. She received her bachelor's degree in forest resource management from Iowa State University in 1997. After graduation Gretchen worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Forestry Division as an assistant district forester in Elkader, Iowa.

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Tree trimming helps plants, wildlife branch out

  • Written by WILLIAM SMITH

The 13 acres of land surrounding Izaak Walton Lake are just a bit prettier than they used to be, thanks to forester Bob Petrzelka.

For the past couple of weeks, Petrzelka has been thinning the trees around Izaak Walton Lake to foster future growth and create hospitable cover for local wildlife. He was hired by the Hope Haven Development Center, which has slowly been improving the lake area for the past decade.

"The area had become very overgrown and unmanageable," said Julie Anderson, director of development and community relations for Hope Haven. "It was so overgrown that you could barely see the east side of the lake."

Since Izaak Walton Lake sits adjacent to the Hope Haven Development Center, there's good reason to keep it maintained. Anderson said the lake is a valuable resource not only for Hope Haven residents who like to walk there, but for the community at large.

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Making a stand

  • Written by BOB HANSEN of The Hawk Eye

Forester stocks the earth with new plots of hardwood

SWEDESBURG - Geode Forestry recently was transplanted from Burlington's Winegard Drive to the more sylvan settings of the Henry County town of Swedesburg. But the move has not slowed 7-year-old company's growth or prevented it from offering a full package of forestry services to southeast Iowa and west-central Illinois landowners.

Owner Bob Petrzelka uprooted Geode Forestry from its incubator parent, Geode Industries, in 1989 and now provides tree-planting services, timber sales and appraisals, forest management, as well as forestry consulting services for both private and government customers.

office1"When the Pzazz business center was closed to make room for FunCity, we were forced to make a move," Petrzelka said, "and although we looked at a number of Burlington sites, the Swedesburg location made more sense. I'm from Mount Pleasant, and Gretchen Cline, the other forester, is from the Muscatine area so it made more sense. We have purchased six acres off of Highway 218 and as soon as I get a chance I will be putting up our buildings there."

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