I’m writing this from the hotel in Iowa City that hosts our annual Iowa Limestone Producers convention. It’s always a great few days spent with old friends in the industry, learning about new equipment, new technology, better practices, and sharing stories and laughs.
The Association was established in 1945 to bring rock crushing guys together to share information and resources. My grandpa, L. R. Falk, was president of the Association in 1949, and always spoke highly of the lifelong friends and knowledge he gained from being a member in the early years.
In 1976, David Falk was elected as president of the Association. He still goes to the convention, and has only missed one or two since he was old enough to attend.
When he was a freshman at the University of Iowa, he attended the annual event, and that was a big reason he never became a sophomore. He figured if being a Limestone Producer was that much fun, he was wasting time at college trying to find a better career!
In 2011, I was honored to be the first third generation member to become president of our association. I got to meet with a lot of people from IDOT, DNR, EPA, and the state legislature during that year of service, as well as working directly with other members on issues that our companies all face.
Like many industry associations, our makeup of members has decreased. There used to be dozens of small, family run operations. Today we are down to 22 active producers, due to buyouts, mergers, lack of family succession, and even former members that don’t want to pay their dues.
But we remain strong because of the dedication of those of us that still understand the value of working together. Some of my best friends are also my stiffest competitors. Tonight, I will be handed the President’s gavel again.
We are having to recycle the duties because we’ve lost some board members due to the reasons mentioned above that we’re supposed to take on this role. I am honored to do so, and look forward to working with new members of the other people we do business with. But I’m also a little saddened that we are shrinking in size, even if we aren’t in ambition.
Since I’ve already given my President’s speech 8 years ago, I decided to have the talented people at EMG make a video to tell the story of the ILPA. The link is above, and I encourage all of you to take a look!