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Shrink-Smart Small Towns: Communities can still thrive as they lose population
Shrink-Smart Small Towns are those that have thriving quality of life despite depopulation since 1994.

This publication discusses how smartly shrinking towns differ from other declining places; and outlines recommendations for communities to maintain quality of life as their populations decline.
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What Drives Quality of Life in Iowa Small Towns?
What makes a community an attractive place to live? This publication explores that question in Iowa small towns. It looks at current perceptions of quality of life, how that quality of life has changed over the last 20 years and what drives quality of life in small towns.
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A Model for Community Change
Why do some communities succeed and others struggle? Why does one community enjoy a robust local economy and just a few miles down the road another community is resigned to stagnation and decline?

This patchwork of differential positions among Iowa communities has spurred many hypotheses and explanations about characteristics that are important in explaining why some communities thrive and others decline. A common thread among successful community developments or social change efforts is the role of leadership. This document explores the centrality of leadership in successful community development and provides a road map of the key steps in achieving social change.

The accompanying worksheet provides a framework for the 5 step process and acts as a guide for implementing community change.
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Rural Iowa at a Glance 2016 Edition
This publication summarizes current demographic, economic, and social trends in rural Iowa from 2005-2015. It is modeled after the USDA's Rural America at a Glance, showing how Iowa metro, micropolitan and rural areas compare with the rest of the country.
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Income Trends for Iowa Farms and Farm Families 2003-2015
To better understand how the downturn in the farm economy has impacted Iowa farmers and farm families, this study summarizes current trends in farm income and debt by type of farm operation.
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Household Income Trends in Iowa and the U.S., 2005-2015: Rural versus Urban Differences
In September 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report on income and poverty in urban and rural American. This report was widely commented upon by national media outlets. However, there was little data or discussion of state-by-state income differences over time. This bulletin summarizes changes in median household incomes over the past decade in rural and urban areas of each state, with a focus on Iowa.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2014 Summary Report
This report summarizes the results of the 2014 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll - an annual survey of farmers on issues important to rural Iowa since 1982.

Topics highlighted: the next generation of farmers, farm family succession plans, opinions about retirement decisions, use of professional advisers for agricultural decision making (i.e., fertilizer program development, pest and crop disease management, soil and water conservation), the use of information technology, and rural quality of life.
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Simplified Parliamentary Procedure
This publication explains a set of well proven parliamentary procedures and rules designed to move business along in a meeting while maintaining order and controlling the communications process.
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$3.00
Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll - Farmer Perspectives on Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy
This report presents survey results from the 2014 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll focused on farmer perspectives on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, a science and technology-based approach used to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways, the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The intended purpose is to help stakeholders in the agricultural community and beyond understand where farmers stand on the nutrient reduction strategy to inform outreach actions.
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Quality Management for Seed Enterprises in Developing Countries
This 154-page reference manual was designed to aid seed entrepreneurs from developing countries obtain the skills necessary to develop a strong seed industry based on high-quality varieties. The manual introduces process management concepts in a comprehensive step-by-step format that is easy to follow and implement.
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From Parity to Polarization: Iowa Income Inequality 1970-2012
The report tracks income inequality across Iowa counties between 1970 and 2012, with comparisons between metro-rural Iowa and the U.S..

Socioeconomic conditions related to inequality in Iowa are examined; and policy implications are discussed. County inequality data are presented in the appendix.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: Iowa Farmers' Nitrogen Management Practices and Perspectives
The 2012 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll asked farmers about their nitrogen management practices and perspectives. Their responses, detailed in this report, can guide efforts to reduce nutrient loss.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2013 Summary Report
This report summarizes the results of the 2013 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll - an annual survey on issues important to rural Iowa since 1982.

Topics highlighted: climate change, rented land, herbicide-resistant weeds, Bt-resistant corn rootworm, soil health and compaction.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: The Role of Farm Families in Local Community Philanthropy
This publication provides a summary of Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll research results on the role of farm families in local community philanthropy.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2011 Summary Report
This report summarizes the results of the 2011 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll - an annual survey on issues important to rural Iowa since 1982. Topics highlighted: climate change, conservation, agricultural drainage, internet use, balancing budgets and what is in a name.
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Iowa Population Over 100 Years
Offers population trends to inform community planning decisions. Gives key aspects of population change by metro, urban, and rural areas.

Examines change across counties and identifies factors that contribute to change. Includes implications of population change.
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Child Poverty in Iowa - 1969-2009
Find information about trends in child poverty in Iowa, the socioeconomic characteristics of poor places, and the potential implications child poverty has for Iowa. Includes information on data and statistical methods.
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Place-Based Poverty in Iowa
Here's a report that documents trends in poverty across Iowa counties during the past 40 years. It also identifies key factors of poverty in Iowa and their correlation.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2010 Summary Report
Highlights from the 2010 farm and rural life poll inlude: community life and neighboring, changes in perceptions over time, population loss and agritourism.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: Farmers’ Views on Conservation Funding and Iowa’s Water and Land Legacy Amendment
As a supplement to the annual farm and rural life poll, this survey looks specifically at a proposed amendment to the Iowa Constitution which would create a dedicated fund called the Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund.
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Rented Land in Iowa: Social and Environmental Dimensions
More than half of Iowa farmland is rented.

Decisions regarding who has access to that land and how it is farmed can influence the social and environmental outcomes of family farming.

See what the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll discovered about rented land in Iowa. Recommendations are suggested to ensure that non-operator landownership is either neutral or beneficial to farm operators, farmland owners, rural communities, and the land itself.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2009 Summary Report
Highlights from the 2009 farm and rural life poll include: the next generation of farmers, farm policy and commodity production, mixed livestock and grain farming, farming and food systems in rural communities, value-added agriculture, targeted conservation, nutrient removal wetlands, and personal and financial well-being.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2008 Summary Report
Highlights from the 2008 farm poll include discussion of quality of life, financial well-being, and community satisfaction and vitality. Population changes in rural communities also is presented.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll 2007 Survey Report on Grain Storage and Transportation
This report on grain transportation and storage in Iowa is one of three supplemental publications that expand on the data collected in the 2007 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll 2007 Survey Report on Iowa Farmers' Views on the Bioeconomy
This report on the views of Iowa farmers on the bioeconomy is one of three supplemental publications that expand on the data collected in the 2007 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll 2007 Survey Report on Farmer Entrepreneurship
This report on the nature of farm businesses in Iowa is one of three supplemental publications that expand on the data collected in the 2007 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2007 Summary Report
Data collected in the 2007 survey of 1,000 Iowa farmers provide insight into their opinions on where the bioeconomy is headed. Supplemental reports available on this web site provide additional detail.
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Performance-Based Environmental Management The Hewitt Creek Model
Find out more about this environmentally sound and economically practical watershed management model -- as farm operators and citizens cooperate.
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CD-DIAL Community Development Data Information and Analysis Laboratory
CD-DIAL is a training and technical assistance unit within Sociology Extension at ISU that works with communities, organizations, and state and local agencies to assist and build decision-making capacity as they evaluate and assess the need for services.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2005 Summary Report
The 2005 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll asked questions including future governmental support through the Farm Bill, the price of farmland, incentives for conservation, farm succession, state-level economic development programs, methamphetamine production and addiction, and the ability of ISU Extension to meet farmers’ needs.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll 2004 Summary Report-Part 1
Results of the 2004 farm and rural life poll regarding health insurance, future of farming, tax policy, water quality, and philanthropy.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll 2004 Summary Report-Part 2
Results of the 2004 farm and rural life poll regarding quality of life.
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Iowa Food Security, Insecurity and Hunger -- Emergency Food Resources: Meeting Food Needs of Iowa Households
Report of an ISU Extension study of people who used food pantries in Polk, Scott, Decatur, and Monroe counties in 2002.
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Iowa Food Security, Insecurity and Hunger -- No More Food Stamps: Iowa Households that Left the Food Stamp Program
Details of a research project that studied Iowa food stamp recipients who left the program in 1997.
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Can You Call It a Focus Group? -- Methodology Brief
Focus groups don't work for every purpose. Determine appropriate use of focus groups to get high quality information for high quality decision-making.
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Focus Group Fundamentals -- Methodology Brief
Focus group research can produce highly useful information about programs and services that surveys miss. Learn how to gather rich detail.
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Iowa Rural Life Survey 2003 Summary Report
Find out what more than 2,000 rural, non-farm Iowans think about the social and economic climate in the state.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll 2003 Summary Report
Highlights include opinions on community well-being, quality of life, and sense of community. Questions were also asked about biotechnology, food safety, GMOs, and more.
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Developing Dynamic Leaders -- Extension to Communities
This flyer describes Extension's six session Developing Dynamic Leaders program and explains how to get signed up. For anyone interested in civic and service organization participation.
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Organizing an Iowa Community Voices Program -- A Community Development Program For New Immigrants
Learn the keys to success in organizing this series of educational meetings designed to enhance the leadership skills of minorities and newly arrived immigrants.
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Iowa Community Voices Planning Worksheets
Two worksheets to help with planning the Community Voices Program.
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New Leadership Challenges for Local Government
Mid-sized cities and small towns are experiencing the fast pace and changes brought by new technologies and globalization. Find out how local government can respond.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll 2002 Summary Report
Survey results from almost 2,000 farmers in 2002 regarding crop and livestock issues and quality of life in Iowa.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll -- 2001 Summary Report
Highlights regarding community and economic development, among other survey questions, as reported in this 2001 summary.
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Resident-led Watershed Management
Resident-led watershed groups can voluntarily work together to develop local policies and practices that protect the health of their waters. Learn to organize local farmers, businesses, natural resource technicians, environmental groups, and Soil and Water Conservation District commissioners to monitor your watershed.
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Purposeful Partnerships in the Community Interest
Teamwork among citizens, private groups, and public agencies is the key to many successful community projects. How can communities develop purposeful partnerships that benefit community interests while satisfying all partners? Use these tools to evaluate the structure, mission, and effectiveness of any organization.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll 1999 Summary Report
Results of the 1999 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll with the primary focus on how farm families are coping with current conditions and what they expect in the next decade.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll - 1998 Summary Report
Results of the 1998 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll; highlights include information technology on Iowa farms, opinions on economic development, ranking of state and national issues, precision farming, quality of life, and issues surrounding the livestock industry.
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