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Iowa State University Extension

Horizons communities are taking action for rural prosperity

kids fill food bags for families in need

Twenty-three rural Iowa communities are taking action: cleaning up the neighborhood, distributing business directories, creating youth mentoring programs and filling food bags for families in need. These are but a few of the steps Iowa communities are taking through Horizons. Thanks to this ISU Extension-run leadership program, these communities are taking charge and building stronger leaders to address poverty, economic decline and the exodus of young adults from rural Iowa.

For example, Bedford has developed a business and services directory and other community information pieces. According to committee member Deann Hensley, “The people involved in Bedford Horizons are a breath of fresh air for the community. Coming from all sectors of the community, they are breathing hope into Bedford’s future.”

Rockford native and ISU student Steve Moser said, “The Horizons experience helped me realize that small solutions, individual efforts, can improve conditions in a community when it comes to dealing with the huge issue of poverty.”

For more information, see the related story in the Extension Connection newsletter.

This article appeared in August 2007 -- From Jack Payne Newsletter