Iowans interested in issues vital to rural communities are invited to attend the 2022 Iowa Rural Summit, hosted by the Iowa Rural Development Council. The event will take place April 12-13 at the Gateway Hotel and Convention Center in Ames, Iowa. Communities are encouraged to enter teams of three, although individuals are also eligible to attend the event. New for Summit 2022, college students interested in rural issues and economic development can register at a reduced price.
To register for the event as an individual, team or student, visit www.iowardc.org/summit. The cost for a team of three is $210. Individuals can register for $190 and students for $25. Registration fees include admission to all Rural Summit events, breakfast on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and lunch on Tuesday.
“We look forward to a big Summit this year in Ames,” said Bill Menner, executive director of the Iowa Rural Development Council. “Last year’s Summit brought together nearly 250 Iowans, and we hope Ames’ central location will encourage more to attend this year.”
Pre-summit events on April 11 include a rural housing readiness assessment workshop and a tour of the Iowa State Digital Fabrication Lab. Another pre-conference tour will feature Gross-Wen Technologies and a demonstration of its algae-based system used to treat the city’s wastewater.
Tuesday the 12th features sessions on how to make rural areas more welcoming and how to recruit and train rural leaders. Other topics on day one include the growth of rural agri-tech businesses, building broadband for all, housing success stories, aging and living in place. The day ends with the presentation of the first Rand Fisher Award for Rural Leadership.
Wednesday’s events include a panel discussion on the impacts of the 2020 U.S. Census. Additionally, the popular “45 Ideas in 45 Minutes” session allows communities to share their successes. The day ends with a closing speech from Iowan Brenda Clark Hamilton on the need for dynamic leadership in rural Iowa. The Summit adjourned at noon.
The Iowa Rural Development Council was created in 1992 by presidential decree. Today, a wide range of public-private partners support its goal of empowering small towns and building the capacity of rural leaders.
Sponsors for this year’s summit include the Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa Initiative, ITC Midwest, Iowa Small Business Development Centers, DA Davidson, IADG Community Foundation, Impact 7G, Grinnell Mutual, AARP, Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor and Monkeythis.