Adams County Iowa


Rural Development

The 1980’s were a rough time for farmers and rural communities like Corning. Many farmers had to quit farming and small businesses struggled to survive. A high percentage of farmers and their spouses were forced into working at off-farm jobs to pay the bills and stay on the farm. Many farmers left the farm.

However, the biggest business or industry in Adams County continued to be farming and the farm-related businesses. By the mid 1990’s the Adams Community Economic Development committee realized the importance of increased focus on the agriculture sector in the county to spur development and formed a committee to look at value-adding, support for, and development of the agriculture sector in Adams County. A group of local volunteers was recruited for this purpose and named the Rural Development committee. It consisted of farmers, Ag Agency personnel, a banker, local businesspeople, an REC representative, and eventually a program manager.

Rural Development
Over the years different subcommittees were formed and special projects developed.  Some of the most active were Ag Diversity Committee, Livestock Committee, Raw Ag Products Committee and Financial Incentives for Rural Expansion Committee.  From these committees, Southwest Soy bean processing plant, Country Foods and Produce (state-inspected kitchen and store, Steer Carcass Futurity (data driven assistance for cattle producers) and rural housing tax abatement.

Rural Development Committee shared information and encouraged the ACEDC Industrial Committee to look into ethanol production in Adams County.  The also created a Livestock Program for 4-H and FFA youth to learn by doing by mentoring and providing animals for youth to raise, record data, show at fair and share what they learned.  The Committee also sponsors a 4-H Ag Leadership Award and is working to create a Senior Scholarship for an FFA member moving into an ag-related career path.

Rural Development Sponsors

Annually ACEDC’s Rural Development Committee hosts a fundraising banquet. The money raised from this event assists in funding the livestock project for 4-H and FFA students, as well as a small portion of the overhead costs for ACEDC office and staff that supports rural development.

Livestock Program

The Livestock program gives young people, who live in Adams County and are in 4-H or FFA, an opportunity to learn how to care and raise livestock.