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Iowa State University Extension

Regional leaders cross boundaries for economic growth

Regional Economic Leadership Forum

Rural economies are regional economies. That’s why local leaders from five counties gathered three times in January to build long-term success in northwest Iowa. During the Regional Economic Leadership Forum they learned about leading with vision for their changing communities and about the benefits of philanthropy, entrepreneurism and working together in the region. It’s another example of ISU Extension bringing the right players to the table to build multi-county partnerships for economic growth in Iowa.

The participants hailed from Calhoun, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Kossuth and Palo Alto counties. They included a business owner; city and county officials; banking, finance and insurance professionals; farmers; an agronomist; and marketing and rural development specialists.

“It was great to meet people in the area and get ideas for our community,” according to one participant’s evaluation. Others said, “I think this group should continue to meet and share and give feedback on each community,” and “Make this annual or semi annual for new people to help create a whole regional network.”

According to Nancy Jenson, ISU Extension education director for Pocahontas County, the participants have decided to meet in August or September to share what they have accomplished in their communities and to help plan the 2009 program.

Sponsors included ISU Extension and economic developers in all five counties along with Farm Bureau, Corn Belt Power Cooperative, Humboldt County REC and Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative. For more information contact the ISU Extension county education directors in Calhoun, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Kossuth or Palo Alto counties.

This article appeared in February 2008 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter