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Ringgold County was the epicenter of statewide rural economic development efforts Tuesday, July 2 as the Ringgold County Development Corporation hosted the joint quarterly meeting of the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC) and the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Taskforce at the Mount Ayr Golf and Country Club.
The more than 100 attendees included Governor Kim Reynolds, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg and Congresswoman Cindy Axne, along with representatives from federal and state agencies, Regents’ institutions and community colleges, utilities, non-profits and statewide associations.
“We are thrilled that this esteemed group of leaders were introduced to everything Ringgold County has to offer, and its potential now and in the future,” said Regan Main, RCDC president. “We look forward to continuing this relationship for the betterment of the area and all of rural Iowa.”
In addition to their meeting, visitors toured the Mount Ayr square, watched the debut of a county-wide promotional video at the Princess Theater, and visited the Ringgold County Hospital and local design business Podium Ink.
IRDC and Empower Iowa have sponsorship opportunities to support strategies and policies that benefit small towns and rural places. The financial resources position these organizations to launch new programs that address rural issues, build capacity with small towns, and capitalize on opportunities that exist to enhance the viability of rural communities.
Mount Ayr is the first city in the state to step up as sponsor to support this progress.
“The Mount Ayr team attending the third Iowa Rural Summit last April in Grinnell made it clear that Ringgold County was active and engaged when it came to community and economic development,” said IRDC Executive Director Bill Menner. “When the City contacted us shortly after the Summit and offered to host our next quarterly Council meeting, there was no way we could say no!”