Empowering Rural Iowa

governor reynolds and a crowd pose for a photo in front of a building

Rural Iowa is the heart and soul of who we are as a state and a people. Our unwavering support of Iowa’s farm families and continued investment in our small towns will ensure opportunity abounds in every rural community.

Supporting Iowa’s Agriculture Economy

Agriculture is the backbone of our state, and we will seize opportunities to keep our farm economy strong. Iowa stands with our hardworking farmers and producers, and will continue to support our agricultural heritage. In 2020, the Governor proposes:

  • $2 million increase for the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program (RFIP) to expand access and increase demand for our homegrown renewable fuels.
  • Modernize renewable fuel programs to support the sale of E15 and higher blends year-round.
  • $500,000 increase for foreign animal disease preparedness to protect our state’s livestock industry and economy.

The Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative

In 2019, Governor Reynolds signed the Empower Rural Iowa Act, providing support to ensure vibrant rural communities today and for generations to come.

Connecting Rural Iowa

Expanding broadband access will support high-tech jobs, precision agriculture, quality education, local economies and the limitless opportunities connectivity makes possible. In 2020, the Governor proposes:

  • $15 million in total funding to optimize the existing Broadband Grant Program, a $10 million increase from last year.
  • Increase the state match for broadband projects with higher levels of speed and service.
  • Continue to improve and update broadband connectivity maps.

Investing in Rural Iowa

Our continued investment in Iowa’s small towns has a big impact on the vitality and

economies of rural communities. In 2020, the Governor proposes:

  • $400,000 increase in funding for the DNR’s Derelict Buildings program.
  • Continue the small cities set-aside for the Workforce Housing Tax Credit program.
  • Continue support for Rural Housing Assessment grants created last legislative session.

Growing Rural Iowa

Nurturing and developing rural leadership helps ensure the strength of our communities for the next generation. In 2020, the Governor proposes:

  • $100,000 to create a matching grant for conducting community visioning programs.
  • $25,000 to create a matching grant for communities starting up formal leadership programs.
  • $25,000 to support rural Iowa leadership development events.

Have an idea for how Iowa can help address the needs and problems that farmers face today? Fill out the empower rural Iowa idea form.