CIRAS DIGEST: Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • First, in case you missed it, Gov. Terry Branstad wants anybody but Ted Cruz.
  • Meanwhile, Farm Futures says more farmers (37 percent) want Trump.
  • And a Forbes contributor finds support for what Donald Trump wants – “the return of America’s computer-manufacturing glory days.”
  • In related news, an ex-Register reporter writing for The Chicago Tribune made an attempt this week to document the “profits and profiteering” that flow out of the Iowa caucuses.
  • ICYMI, Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor and the Iowa Biotechnology Association put out a white paper last week based on research by several Iowa State University professors. According to the Des Moines Business Record and a state legislator’s column in the Clinton Herald, it’s all designed to support a tax incentive pitched at biobased chemical production. The Cedar Rapids Gazette notes that “the Iowa Economic Development Authority wants to provide up to $10 million per year through a renewable chemical tax credit program, according to a study bill filed [last] week in the Iowa Senate.” The Business Record quotes the report as saying “Iowa is better positioned than many domestic competitors to capitalize on the next frontier of bioprocessing in the United States.”
  • Meanwhile, we found a story out of a North Carolina TV station about a brewing employment battle in Wisconsin that might be interesting to watch. Ariens Manufacturing changed its prayer-on-the-job policy last week, forcing Muslim employees to stay on the line and pray only during their breaks. The change impacts about 53 workers, 10 of whom say they’ll adapt to the new rules.
  • If you’re up for some technical reading, the Tree Hugger website has a story about Divergent 3D, a 3D printing company that’s making a Blade electric car to showcase the technology. The article describes $4 million “microfactories” that can make cars 20 to 50 times faster than traditional manufacturing methods and may end up sparking new competition by lowering the barriers to entering the automotive business.
  • And finally, just in case you’re out of things to worry about: The Hill has a government report showing that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigated nearly twice as many cyberattacks on America’s manufacturing sector in fiscal 2015 as the year before.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

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