Made in Eastern Iowa: MCG Biomarkers


By Ashley Hinson

We're excited to again be showcasing unique homegrown businesses seeing success here in Eastern Iowa. We're showing you a local company that has a growing stake in the lawn and garden business.

Reduce, reuse, recycle; these are the driving principles behind what Cedar Rapids based MCG BioComposites does.

"Everything we do is made right here in Iowa,” says Sam McCord, President and Ceo of the company. "The byproducts, instead of just having them go into landfills or just waste, we can use those to make value added products."

The company uses corn cobs grown in Independence, and recycled high density polyethylene, to create a strong plastic-like resin.

He says "it's in pellet form, so that way it can flow."

They become Biomarkers, staked signs you can use to label different plants in your garden. The green products are in high demand from those with a green thumb.

"They're all over the world. So it's not just an Iowa Product, It's all over the U.S. In fact, there's been some markers sold in Australia," says McCord.

The biomarkers are really a joint “Eastern Iowa” effort. A machine at custom molder Anova takes the corn-infused resin mixture and molds it, using a press, into what you'd see on store shelves. McCord says partnering with the Dubuque based company helps their green company make more green.

"By partnering with those who are already set up, they have the knowledge, they have the talent and infrastructure, we get to market faster," he said.

And they're finding with the growing demand, the company needs to expand.

"We're already looking at another line, we're seriously considering building another tool for a 24 inch marker,” says McCord. "We've just begun."

MCG Biocomposites is in talks with a catalog company, big box stores, and another company based in St. Louis that would mean possibly manufacturing hundreds of millions of the markers.

You can see these bio-markers at The Des Moines Botanical gardens, and the company is donating markers to Cedar Rapids' Noelridge Greenhouse.

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