Des Moines, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Economic Development Authority have announced more than $500,000 in grant funding will be awarded to rural communities across the state through the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative, and some of that money will be going to communities in northwest Iowa.

Governor Reynolds says that the Empower Rural Iowa Initiative has played a key role in transforming rural communities by expanding broadband access and affordable housing options, which are essential to the growth and retention of our state. She says that these programs help turn innovative ideas into reality for small communities across Iowa, “…paving the way for opportunity and prosperity for generations to come.”

The grants cover 38 projects across the state.

Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg says that rural communities are “the backbone of our state, and this latest round of grants will help them tackle tough challenges like housing, childcare, and recruitment.” He says the Empower Rural Iowa initiative looks forward to building on this success and further ensuring opportunity and prosperity are present in all corners of Iowa.

The Rural Innovation Grant program supports creative, nontraditional ideas to overcome rural community development challenges, such as workforce development and housing shortages.

The Rural Housing Assessment Grant program supports efforts to expand access to quality housing tailored to communities. The program leverages data from the Iowa Finance Authority’s Profile of Iowa tool and provides support through a partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The new Rural Return Grant program supports creative programming that attracts new residents to move and/or work in rural communities. The new Rural Child Care Market Study Grant program supports the use of data and analysis by rural communities, in partnership with First Children’s Finance, to determine the specific needs and solutions for their area.

Three Osceola County communities are among 10 communities that received Rural Housing Assessment grants. The City of Ocheyedan,the City of Ashton, and the City of Sibley each received $10,000. Rural Housing Assessment grants and will be working with Iowa State University Office of Extension and Outreach to undergo a facilitated readiness assessment and implementation process. The cities of Keosauqua, Emmetsburg, Lee County, Clarinda, Grinnell, Forest City, and Wayne County received Rural Child Care Market Study grants and will be working with First Children’s Finance to undergo a data and analysis study.

Also, Northwestern College and the City of Orange City received a $1,000 Rural Leadership Bootcamp Grant for a project called, “Accelerate Siouxland.”

For more information on the Center for Rural Revitalization programs, visit or contact Liesl Seabert at

A full list of the of the 2022 Rural Grant recipients is available here.

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