Rural economies are complex systems made up of private and public components. We work with individuals, communities, organizations, and agencies to build and enhance as many components of those systems as possible while connecting them through honest dialogue, partnerships, and expertise. We prioritize rural economic development that reflects the natural, historic, cultural, and artistic characteristics that make Northeast Iowa unique.
We provide technical assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to start or expand natural resource–based or value-added agricultural businesses, including business planning, market analysis, branding, marketing, and funding. We help agricultural producers find methods, product markets, and tools so that conservation-minded farming is good not only for their soil and water, but for their bottom line. We work on public infrastructure projects including land and water trails, parks, and recycling facilities, and on community development projects that allow our partners to showcase their regional artistic and cultural initiatives.