Rural Iowa: my opinion based on my perspective

Rural Development

I am from a rural town. Being from a state as rural as Iowa, that says something about the size of my hometown. I lived in Texas for a while also. Their definition of rural was a town under 15,000. In my corner of Iowa, there was only one city of that size, and every other one was under 6,000. I started my economic development career serving a COUNTY of 5,000; the smallest town is 27 and the largest 1,500. I love rural towns, but the difficulties facing them are completely different than those of medium-sized and large cities. I always cringe a little when I see regional or county ED groups that also serve large cities (I realize the hypocrisy, Dallas County includes West Des Moines and Linden, 100,000+ population swing.) Usually, not always, that means smaller towns get less assistance because there isn’t enough time to help everyone, so ED professional (including our group) are pulled toward the activity that occurs in the cities. So, to keep me focused on our towns and maybe provide some insights I have had during my career, the next few blog posts with a focus on the unique issues and opportunities small towns face. If you get something, anything out of this, great. If you think it’s all garbage, that’s great too. Experiences influence our perspective and perspective influences our problem-solving. My experiences are entirely different than yours, so it is understandable that we may disagree. And, if we do, find me at the next conference or event and we can trade ideas


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