White House Rural Council Hosts Forum on Regional Innovation

Posted: Tue, September 24, 2013

Rachelle Howe, Executive Director of Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Commission and Teresa Wiemerslage, ISU Extension and Outreach Region 4 Program Coordinator, recently attended Washington, D.C. to attend The White House Rural Council on Thursday, September 18th.  They met with officials from economic development districts, county governments and non-profit organizations to discuss ways to replicate successful regional economic development strategies.

The pair attended the meeting representing the Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative.  Invited organizations were nominated by each state's USDA Rural Development Director and were selected because of their innovative approaches and partnerships to support economic development in rural areas.
 
"Innovative regional development can work especially well in rural areas because it helps communities share resources across boundaries such as county and state lines," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "By focusing on one or a few common sectors, regional development can produce greater economic returns."

The forum at the White House Eisenhower Executive Office Building is the second on regional economic development. The first was held in June 2012. Vilsack, who chairs the White House Rural Council, delivered the keynote address at this forum.

The White House Rural Council coordinates the Obama Administration's efforts in rural America by improving the effectiveness of federal programs. It works with public and private-sector partners on new ways to solve problems.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) commitment to regional economic development spans several department wide initiatives. The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative coordinates the Department's work on local and regional food systems to grow regional economies, preserve regional agricultural heritage and create additional opportunities for regional farmers and ranchers. USDA's Strike Force Initiative for Rural Growth and Opportunity aligns USDA resources to promote economic stability, job opportunities and regional growth in targeted high poverty areas. It leverages efforts with the private sector and community partners.

For more information on these initiatives and to read success stories, visit www.usda.gov.
During the forum, Vilsack announced the selection of 186 projects for USDA Rural Development loans and grants to support economic development in rural communities. The funding is being provided through the Community Facilities program, the Intermediary Relending Program, the Rural Business Opportunity Grant Program and the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program.

Funding for each award is contingent upon the recipient meeting the terms of the loan or grant agreement. In total, Vilsack announced more than $27 million in support for regional and economic development projects in 32 states and the District of Columbia. USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. This announcement is one part of the Department's overall efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way - strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.

News Headlines

The UERPC July 2019 Newsletter is here!

Posted: Mon, July 15, 2019

Check out the newsletter to learn more about:

-City of West Union Awarded CDBG Water/Sewer Grant

-UERPC Receives EDA Planning Investment Award for Region

-Food and Fitness and Iowa Food Hub Update

-2020 Census Job Openings

-"Grow With US" Project Sprouts Young Gardeners

-Employee Spotlight:  Heidi Hackman

-New ICOG Executive Board Members Announced

-Introducing 5-2-1-0 in the Workplace

-Iowa 9 Black Hawk Bridge Update

Want to receive our newsletter in your inbox? Sign up here:  http://uerpc.org/newsletters.html

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Public invited to comment on proposals for Black Hawk (IA-9) Bridge in Lansing

Posted: Thu, July 11, 2019

The Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation held a joint public information meeting in Lansing on July 9 to discuss the Iowa 9 (Black Hawk) bridge over the Mississippi River. Information about the project, proposed alignments and bridge designs, environmental information and more is available on Iowa DOT’s website. Members of the public are invited to review the information and provide feedback and comments. Visit https://www.tinyurl.com/yynepawg to review project information and submit comments.

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July 9 Technical Committee meeting location change

Posted: Mon, July 8, 2019

The July 9th meeting of the RPA-1 Technical Committee will be held at Upper Explorerland's Decorah offices, at 325 Washington Street, Suite A. This is due to a scheduling conflict at the Winneshiek Count Offices.

Contact Aaron Detter with any questions at 563-382-6171 or adetter@uerpc.org

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Black Hawk Bridge Informational Meeting July 9

Posted: Wed, June 19, 2019

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) invites members of the public to attend an informational meeting regarding the proposed improvements on the Iowa 9 (Black Hawk) bridge. The meeting will be on July 9, 2019 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Kee High School, 569 Center Street in Lansing.

Details of the proposed project will be presented and Iowa DOT and consultant representatives will be available to discuss the project informally. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend to express their views and ask questions about the proposed project.

The meeting room is accessible for persons with disabilities. However, if you require special accommodations at the meeting, please notify Krista Billhorn at krista.billhorn@iowadot.us or 641-422-9447.

Those who have any comments or questions prior to the meeting, or are not able to attend, should contact Krista Billhorn or refer to the Iowa DOT’s website, which is periodically updated as new information becomes available: www.iowadot.gov/pim. If you would like to make a comment regarding this project, please visit: http://bit.ly/iowadot2723.

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