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Final Agenda Set for 2022 Iowa Rural Summit

Rural Summit 2022 Agenda


Monday April 11

Pre-Conference Opportunities (choose one)


12:00-5:00          Rural Housing Readiness Assessment Workshop, Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011.  Lunch included.  Register for this event at


2:30-4:30pm:    Tour Iowa State University’s Digital Manufacturing Lab, powered by Alliant Energy with assistance by Iowa Economic Development Authority, 2500 North Loop Drive, Suite 7580, Ames, Iowa 50010.


3:00-4:30 pm     Tour Gross-Wen Technologies’ Slater Demonstration which uses algae to treat city wastewater.  Meet at GWT HQ, 404 Main St, Slater, IA 50244, at 3pm followed by tour.

5pm- 7pm:         Welcome Reception at Reiman Gardens

                             1407 University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011

Sponsored by The Bill Menner Group and Trusted Energy



Tuesday April 12

7:30-9am          Registration and Continental breakfast

                             Tent. Sponsored by Iowa American Water


9am                     Conference Welcome, Gateway Hotel Prairie Ballroom

ISU President Wendy Wintersteen

IRDC Chair Mark Reinig

9:15am                   Conference Opening Keynote.  Benjamin Anderson, Gateway Hotel Prairie                                 Ballroom

                                 The Road to Health and Vitality in Rural America              


10:00am             Celebration of Sponsors and Exhibitors, Gateway Hotel Prairie Ballroom


10:30am             Networking Break   


11:00am             Break-out Sessions, Round 1

Critical Issues:         Connecting Everyone, Prairie South Meeting Room

                                                             Benjamin Anderson (moderator)

Felecia DeJong, Postville

Carlos Arguello, LatinoIQ/Greene County

Mayor Katie McCullough, West Liberty


Facilities/Projects:  Growing Ag Tech in Iowa, Prairie Central Meeting Room

Sponsored by America’s Cultivation Corridor

                                                                Nathan Katzer (moderator)

Nadilia Gomez, ISU CTO Digital and Precision Ag

Kevin Kimle, ISU Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative

Doug Moore, Cultivo, Entrepreneur in Residence


Facing the Future:  Leading Through Innovative Efforts, Prairie North                                                                                Meeting Room

Sponsored by Bolton & Menk

James Hoelscher, Jim Thompson (co-moderators)

Lisa Kremer, Buchanan County

Lyle Muller, IowaWatch

Marie Whiteing, Mapleton


12:15pm             Lunch, Garden Room

Sponsored by D.A. Davidson

Opening Remarks:  David Spalding, Board Chair, ISU Research Park

Empowering Rural Iowa with Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg


1:30pm               Break-out Sessions, Round 2

Critical Issues:       Building Broadband for All, Prairie South

Brittany Morales (moderator)

Jeff Roiland, Western Iowa Networks, Breda

Lonnie Mayberry, Mills County Supervisor

Kevin Cabbage, Famers Mutual Telephone, Stanton


Facilities/Projects: Housing Success Stories – All of the Above! Prairie Central

                                                              Sponsored by Impact7G

Gary Taylor (moderator)

Beth Bilyeu, Forest City

Dawn Meyer, Manning

Laura Kloewer, Red Oak


Facing the Future:   Education Partnerships Leading the Way, Prairie North

Emily Shields (moderator)

Eduardo Diaz, DMACC Perry

Sue Gehling, Carroll

Chris Plunkett, Iowa Wesleyan University


2:30pm               Short Break with Light Snack/Transition to Break-out Rooms


2:45pm               Break-out Sessions, Round 3 

Critical Issues:         Preserving Arts and Culture in Rural Places, Prairie South

David Schmitz (moderator)

Jennifer Drinkwater, ISU Extension

Nancy Nickerson Lee, Cedar Summerstock Theatre, Mitchell County

Mel Stockwell, Calico Publishing, Van Buren County


Facilities/Projects:   Small-town Hotels:  Putting Heads in Rural Beds, Prairie                                                                   Central

Kim Didier (moderator)

Jeremy Greisbach, Cobblestone Hotels

David Barker, Kingsley Inn, Fort Madison

Meagan Hubenka, Hotel Greenfield


Facing the Future:   Aging and Living in Place – Assuring Support in Rural                                                                         Iowa, Prairie North

Sponsored by AARP Iowa

Brad Anderson (moderator)

Steve Diers, Charles City

Daejin Kim, ISU College of Design

Jenn Ofelt, UnityPoint @Home


3:45pm               Hotel Check-in and Meet the Vendors!

5:00pm               Rural Recognition Reception, Garden Room

                             Sponsored by Iowa Farm Bureau/Renew Rural Iowa

5:30pm               The Rand Fisher Rural Leadership Awards Ceremony, Garden Room

                             Sponsored by IADG Community Foundation

6:30pm               Dinner on your Own


Wednesday April  13

7:30am               Buffet Breakfast; Community Networking Time, Garden Room

Sponsored by ITC Midwest


8:30am               Welcome Back, Day 2


8:40am               Roundtable #1:  Making Sense of the Census: Preparing for 2030, Prairie                                   Ballroom

                               Sponsored by America’s SBDC – Iowa

Sandy Ehrig (moderator)

Debi Durham, IEDA/IFA

Liesl Eathington, ISU Department of Economics

Bill Morain, Lamoni

Mickey Shields, Iowa League of Cities


9:45am               Break/Check Out


10:15am             45 Ideas in 45 Minutes, Prairie Ballroom


11:00am             Closing Keynote Brenda Clark Hamilton, Prairie Ballroom

                            Sponsored by MonkeyThis

                             “Dynamic Leaders Needed…to Be Rural Iowa Influencers”


11:50pm             Parting Messages and Adjournment

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