Iowa Rural Summit 2022 - Six Years of Celebrating Rural!!


April 12-13, 2022


Gateway Hotel, Ames

Almost 400 rural leaders from every corner of the state descended on the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center at Iowa State University April 12-13, 2022, for the 6th annual Iowa Rural Summit.

It featured keynote addresses from two powerful speakers. Former rural hospital CEO and rural health care advocate Benjamin Anderson discussed strategies for improving the interactions between rural residents and making those places more open, inclusive, and diverse. Algona-based motivational speaker Brenda Clark Hamilton talked the importance of leadership, strong leaders, and the need to constantly work to recruit and train new leaders.

“Benjamin and Brenda highlighted issues that are crucial to the success of small towns and rural places,” said IRDC Board President Mark Reinig. Engaging communities and their residents through respectful and civil dialogues about diversity, equity and inclusion is a topic that has workforce, youth retention and quality of life implications. And having the leaders willing to drive those discussions is imperative. Those keynote speeches, plus our array of roundtables, break-out sessions and networking opportunities made this 6th Iowa Rural Summit the best yet!”

In addition, the Summit was a chance to recognize a group of remarkable rural leaders, who were presented the inaugural Rand Fisher Rural Leadership Award, sponsored by IADG Community Foundation.  The honor recognizes long-time IADG CEO and IRDC Vice-Chair Rand Fisher.

The honorees this year were Mickey Anderson, Stanton; Chris Deal, Jefferson; Maureen Elbert, Algona; Deb Lucht, Minburn; Joe Sorenson, Des Moines, and Jim & Julie Vermeer, Spencer.


Click for Rural Summit 2022 Final Agenda






Summit Highlights from Iowa Rural Summit 2022

  • Place and Attitude Matter in Rural Communities
  • Innovative Ag Tech Efforts Thrive in Rural Iowa
  • New Ideas for Bringing Hotels to Small Towns
  • 2020 Census Brings Opportunity, Challenge to Rural Iowa
  • Leading Rural Development Means Being an “Influencer”


Summit Sponsors