News Release
Release No.STELPRD4015124
ContactDarin Leach515-284-4747
Local Community and Economic Leaders Encouraged to Participate in Conversations
Des Moines, Iowa, Mar 13, 2012 --

@@Local residents, business owners and community leaders will have the opportunity to share their thoughts about opportunities and challenges in rural Iowa when USDA Rural Development State Director Bill Menner visits Farley, Postville, Cresco, St. Ansgar and Creston in the coming weeks for roundtable discussions.

All meetings are open to the public.

On Thursday, March 22 State Director Menner will visit Farley and Postville. The Farley discussion will go from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at City Memorial Hall, 208 1st Street NW in Farley. State Director Menner will then be in Postville from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. that day for a discussion at the YMCA, 313 West Post Street.

On Thursday, March 29 State Director Menner will lead discussions in Cresco and St. Ansgar. He will be in Cresco from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at Hawkeye Rural Electric Cooperative, 24049 Iowa Hwy. 9. The St. Ansgar meeting will take place at the St. Ansgar Rescue (in the community room) and will go from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Finally, on Thursday, April 5 State Director Menner will host a roundtable discussion starting at 10 a.m. at the Hotel Iowana located at 203 West Montgomery in Creston.

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 and farmers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

This past year USDA Rural Development’s investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,900 jobs, aided 2,000 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 80 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.

What: Rural-Issues Roundtable Discussions – facilitated by USDA Rural Development

When and Where: 

Thursday, March 22

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – City Memorial Hall – 208 1st Street NW – Farley

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – YMCA – 313 West Post Street – Postville

Thursday, March 29

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Hawkeye REC – 24049 Iowa Hwy. 9 – Cresco

1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – St. Ansgar Rescue – 203 West 4th Street – St. Ansgar

Thursday, April 5

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Hotel Iowana – 203 West Montgomery - Creston

Contact Information: Bill Menner will be available for comments at the event. If you would like to speak with him before the event please contact Darin Leach at (515) 284-4747 (office) or (515) 669-5691 (cell).

USDA Rural Development has 11 offices across the state to serve the 1.7 million Iowans living in rural communities and areas. Office locations include a State Office in Des Moines, along with Area Offices in Albia, Atlantic, Humboldt, Indianola, Iowa Falls, Le Mars, Mount Pleasant, Storm Lake, Tipton and Waverly.

Further information on programs available through USDA Rural Development is available by calling (515) 284-4663 or by visiting the agency’s web site at

USDA Rural Development is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.

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