Known for over a century as the “Food Capital of the World”, Iowa and its citizens have had to make many changes over the years to keep their economy healthy. And boy, did they make changes. The populous must be made up of some very resilient people to have accomplished all that needed to be done to make the list of “Top 10 States for Business in the United States”, coming in at number six in 2010.
They have also made great strides in education and avail themselves of high speed satellite internet, showing just how intelligent they are. They boast three state universities and over 30 private colleges and universities. People come from all over the world to study in this quiet ‘corn belt’ state. I call it quiet because it is also rated as the safest place to live.
With great schools, many job opportunities and state-wide satellite internet service, it is indeed a great place to live and work. Nothing to fear here except for some extreme seasonal weather. It’s known to be very hot and humid in the summer (great for crops!), and frigid and snowy in the winter. Spring and fall can bring about some nasty storms with tornadoes being frequent unwelcome visitors.
Since over 60% of Iowa’s acreage is agricultural they suffered greatly during the Farm Crisis of the 1980’s. It brought with it an economic depression that some never recovered from prompting many to move out-of-state to make a living. However, it took only a decade to turn this around. Iowans were smart enough to see they needed something other than corn to rely on and went about diversifying by attracting many businesses in advanced manufacturing, processing, financial and insurance services, biotechnology, and green energy production. They sweetened the pot by providing a well-educated workforce and tax incentives. People started moving back and became part of the recovery.
Due to this resourcefulness they are also weathering this latest recession better than most states. With such a large rural population it was also necessary to bring these areas current with the rest of the state by allowing the introduction of rural high speed internet. The US government is helping with this by allotting funds to ensure everyone has access to the internet. With all of this, things are looking good for Iowa now and into the future.
So, we not only have Iowa to thank for feeding the world but also for showing the rest of the country that things can get better if you allow change and work diligently to make it happen. If they can bounce back after almost losing an entire industry, one they relied on to keep them economically healthy, it is not too difficult to see that it can be done.
Seeing how they value education so highly, I hope Iowa can teach the rest of us the lesson of how to survive even in the most dire of circumstances. Thank you Iowa!