IFBF Has Invested More than $80 million in Rural Iowa in a Decade

Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa program, which has helped more than 2,500 Iowans successfully own and grow their business since the program launched in 2006, is bringing new offerings to Iowa entrepreneurs in 2014. New seminar content, online curriculum, exclusive peer forums for those who qualify and financial advice are now available to Iowa entrepreneurs to help grow their existing business.

“We’re excited about the new offerings to our program this year that will feature ‘the best of the best’ national business leaders, including Mike Kleis, president of Renaissance Executive Forums of Iowa, and Joel Bennett, lead consultant with Veel Hoeden Consulting, to help rural Iowa businesses flourish,” said Sandy Ehrig, IFBF economic development administrator. “IFBF has always believed that strong, vibrant rural communities are the fabric of Iowa and we are committed to helping them thrive for the long-term; that’s why we’ve invested more than $80 million in rural communities in the last decade.”

The online curriculum, Renew Rural Iowa Pathways, is available at www.renewruraliowa.com and is designed to provide entrepreneurs with advice and critical business data needed to hire and retain the best employees and also help entrepreneurs put together a profitable business plan. “Pathways offers guidance in areas of organization management, marketing and sales, product and service, financials and funding and even exit strategies,” said Ehrig. “Pathways curriculum can be customized, too, so you have a menu of options for training that suit your needs whether you’re in manufacturing, retail or service industries. A live concierge is also available for individual consultation.”

“Select business owners who attend a Renew Rural Iowa seminar and wish to grow themselves and their business can apply to join exclusive peer forums after completing an interview and assessment. These peer forums enable business leaders to learn from each other in a confidential environment and enhance their ability to lead their business. Integrity, quality, profitability and people are the foundations for a successful future and that is the life goal of all who participate in our special peer forums,” said Ehrig. Organizers say those who work with Renew Rural Iowa in 2014 will learn how to identify the obstacles to their business growth and find new pathways to success. Renew Rural Iowa (RRI) is an IFBF initiative, launched in 2006, to support new and existing businesses through education, mentoring, and financial resources. More than 35 seminars have been held around the state since then, connecting entrepreneurs, business leader mentors and finance opportunities. For more information, go to www.renewruraliowa.com.