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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Yuppie Chicken Rancher

A New York City yuppie moved to the country and bought a piece of land. He went to the local feed store and talked to the proprietor about how he was going to take up chicken farming. He then asked to buy 100 chicks.

“That’s a lot of chicks,” commented the proprietor. “I mean business”, the city slicker replied.

A week later the yuppie was back again. “I need another 100 chicks,” he said. “Boy, you are serious about this chicken farming,” the man told him.

“Yeah,” the yuppie replied. “If I can iron out a few problems.” “Problems?” asked the proprietor. “Yeah,” replied the yuppie, “I think I planted that last batch too close together.”

What can we learn from this story? The yuppie’s assumption of how to raise chickens was of course way off base – I believe we too make assumptions without taking the time to see what is really going on. Take our economy, many people assume that Tama County’s economy is at a stand-still, barely moving, when in reality if you look a little deeper you’ll be amazed by what some Tama County residents are doing to make a real difference within our economy. Here are just a few examples:

Kathy Myers – opened her antiquing business, Kathy’s Barn, in downtown Tama.  Her passion has always been to buy and sell antiques and repurpose ”junk”.  She started by clearing out a dairy barn on her property and keeping her inventory in there for folks to pick through.  She expanded to a storefront in Tama and created a Facebook page, which has been very successful and has drawn in folks from many other states.

Jon Kriegel has built Oakridge Motocross Park just north of Highway 30 near Garwin.  Motocross is a sport that is growing rapidly on a professional and amateur level, and the facility accommodates a wide variety of rider skills from beginner to professional.  Their goal is to hold 5-7 races bringing at least 200 riders to each event.

Blake Waldrop of Dysart, started RMA Supply Company. He has had major success in selling a re-designed ballistic armor plate on-line to police officers across the county.  His goal is to manufacture and expand the product lines and offer customers more varieties of armor and equipment.

Terry Johnson, the CEO of Genesis Development, currently employs 25 people and plans to hire 15 to 20 new employees by moving more people to houses in the Tama-Toledo area and integrate them into the community.  They will also be utilizing office space for day programs for adults.

Everyone reading this article has the opportunity to come see what the next group of people are doing to grow Tama County’s economy. MARK YOUR CALENDAR for Tuesday, November 19, 2013, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Reinig Center in Toledo, the site of the Q4 2013 Pitch & Build.

Attending the Pitch & Build is a great way to start becoming involved in the growth of YOUR County. When we all dig into the details and learn what is going on in the county we won’t end up like the New York City yuppie trying to plant chicks :)

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