USDA Grants Boost Small Iowa Towns, But Funding Now At Risk

As small towns across the country struggle to attract or retain businesses, the USDA has been awarding a number of rural development grants to help stimulate growth. “I just feel like there’s been a reinvigorated interest in rural issues and communities, and seeing that manifest itself in different ways has been really encouraging,” said Grant Menke, the Iowa State Director of USDA Rural Development. “Iowa is pretty much the best in the nation at the rural economic development program.” Decorah, Iowa, took advantage of one over a decade ago that helped develop their now-lively commerce and arts scene in town. […]