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USDA Rural Development hosting Rural-Issues Listening Post in Belle Plaine July 11

Local Community and Economic Leaders Encouraged to Participate in the Conversation

July 5, 2011
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald
DES MOINES Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development State Director in Iowa, will be in Belle Plaine at 1 p.m. on July 11 to listen to local community and economic development leaders, as well as the general public, discuss issues and opportunities they encounter in their ongoing efforts to keep rural Iowa vibrant and prosperous.

The session will take place at The Tippie Museum, 12th St. and 9th Ave., downtown – Belle Plaine, and is open to the public.

In the last 10 years, 66 of Iowa’s 99 counties have seen a population decline. While rural communities and areas are home to 1.7 million Iowans, more than half of Iowa’s nearly 950 cities now have fewer than 500 residents.

USDA Rural Development currently administers and manages more than 40 housing, business and community infrastructure and facility loan and grant programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

During the past year the agency helped a record number of Iowans receive funding for economic development projects and quality of life improvements. The agency’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 2,200 jobs, aided 2,500 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 250 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.

Fact Box

What: Rural-Issues Listening Post – hosted by USDA Rural Development

When: Tuesday, July 11, 1 p.m.

Where: Tippie Museum, 12th St. & 9th Ave., downtown – Belle Plaine



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