The Iowa Rural Development Council now has two highly-successfully, statewide Rural Summits under its belt. They represent a unique opportunity for The Council to move from more than an information-sharing organization to a resource provider and catalyst for identifying and addressing rural issues.
IRDC developed a plan to bring rural residents together to discuss the challenges and opportunities that currently exist. But rather than simply host an event and invite everyone, the Council extended invitations to a diverse group of communities. There was a catch, though. To attend the community had to bring a three-person team.
In 2017, on a snowy November day in in Jefferson, Iowa, more than 300 rural leaders, elected officials and interested residents from 65 small towns and rural places convened to discuss their collective futures during the first-ever Iowa Rural Summit. They discussed everything from housing to arts and culture to engaging Millenials.
Then over two chilly April days in Grinnell in 2018, the Council did it again. More than 330 individuals and some 70 communities came together for two days of targeted training, networking and capacity-building. This larger venue acknowledged the fact that small towns and rural places are eager to learn from each other the tools to effective rural development.
For more information on the NEXT Iowa Rural Summit or to see how your community can participate, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on the links to download the following PDF files:
Top 5 takeaways, Housing Panel
Community Commitment Checklist
Clayton County Needs Survey
Rural Summit Presentation
Keokuk Dental Recruitment Presentation