Amy Klobuchar Plan: Restore “Respect For Rural America”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar released her “Plan from the Heartland” today, kicking off some time in Iowa with a speech at the Griffieon Family Farm in Ankeny, Iowa. Klobuchar refers to the plan as an “optimistic economic agenda” to strengthen and protect the way of life in rural America. “Kids that grow up in rural America should be able to live in rural America,” Klobuchar explained, adding that the goal of her plan is to, “bring back the respect for rural America.” Taking Rural Seriously Klobuchar’s policy plan, the full text of which is available on Medium, has four major pieces: […]

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. […]

When A Rural Iowa County’s Only Shoe Store Closes

If you’re on the hunt for a new pair of off-brand Crocs or high-end work boots, look no further than Ringgold County, Iowa. But for the county’s residents who are looking for anything in between, a 45-minute drive to Creston, the next county seat over, or an online shopping-spree are the only purchasing options. As small towns everywhere wrestle with the effects of a struggling farm economy, aging populations, tough housing markets, and the explosion of online shopping, finding places to buy basic goods has become a challenge. Ringgold County, situated on Iowa’s southern border with Missouri, has a population […]