“Idea summits” will be held in September as three new “Empower Rural Iowa” task forces examine ways to elevate rural leaders, boost broadband access and make more housing available in rural Iowa. Nearly 180 Iowans applied to participate and about half were appointed by the governor Thursday. Acting Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg is co-chair of the overall effort.
The first is scheduled for September 6th in Holstein and will focus on connecting more Iowans to broadband service The second will be held September 7th in Mount Pleasant and explore ways to spark strategic planning and development of new leaders in rural Iowa. The third will be held in Earlham on September 14th and focus on getting more investment into rural Iowa, particularly in housing. Sandy Ehrig, chair of the Iowa Rural Development Council, is a co-chair of the initiative. She says task force members will be asked to come to the summits with at least one written idea on how to address the topic.
Among those who are on the committees locally are Emily Schmitt from Clear Lake who will sit on the Empower Rural Iowa Executive Council, Hunter Callahan of Clear Lake on the Investing in Rural Iowa Task Force and Stacy Besch of Algona , Effie Hill of Fort Dodge, and Emily Schmitt of Clear Lake who will sit on the Growing Rural Iowa Task Force. On the Connecting Rural Iowa Task Force, Josh Byrnes of Osage has been appointed to sit.
Iowans may submit ideas online here.