CIRAS Staff News

CIRAS Staff Member, Ben Drescher. Ben Drescher joined CIRAS as a Food and Feed Quality and Safety project manager.

Ben Drescher recently joined CIRAS as a Food and Feed Quality and Safety project manager, contributing to implementing food quality and safety practices in Iowa’s agriculture and manufacturing sectors as part of the CIRAS partnership with ISU Extension’s Grain Quality Initiative.

With extensive experience managing all aspects of livestock farms for teaching and research, Ben works with companies to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and external quality standards in the food industry. He holds a B.S. in agricultural education from Iowa State University and an M.S. in agricultural science from Murry State University. Before joining CIRAS, he served as the Animal Science Farms director at Iowa State University for nine years and worked in the swine industry prior to that.

For more information, contact Ben Drescher at or 515-509-0940.


CIRAS Staff Member, Jayna Grauerholz.

CIRAS has welcomed Jayna Grauerholz as the newest government contracting specialist.

Jayna Grauerholz serves as a government contracting specialist on the APEX Accelerators team at CIRAS. She assists Iowa businesses in navigating federal, state, and local government contracting. With a wealth of experience in government contracting, Jayna is skilled in RFP writing and evaluation, contract drafting, negotiation, and management.

Her background includes roles as a research and development contract negotiator at Ames National Lab and managing contracts at Iowa State University Procurement. With a legal background, she previously practiced law in areas such as disability, ADA, civil rights, compliance, and probate.

For more information, contact Jayna Grauerholz at or 515-509-4912.