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

The Rules of Pheasant Hunting

A big city lawyer went pheasant hunting in Iowa for the first time. He shot and dropped a bird, but it fell into a pasture on the other side of the fence.

As the lawyer climbed over the fence, a crusty old farmer rode up and asked him what he was doing.

The attorney responded, “I shot a pheasant. It fell into this field, and now I’m going to retrieve it.”

The old farmer retorted, “This is my property, and you are not coming over here.”

The indignant lawyer said, “I am one of the best trial attorneys in the United States, and if you don’t let me have that bird, I’ll sue you and take everything you own.”

The old farmer smiled and said, “Apparently you don’t know how we settle disputes in Iowa. We settle small disagreements with the ‘Three Kicks Rule’.”

The lawyer asked, “What is the ‘Three Kicks Rule’?”

The farmer replied, “Well, because the dispute is occurring on my land, I get to go first. I kick you three times, then you kick me three times, and so on back and forth until one of us gives up.”

The attorney quickly thought about the proposed contest and figured he could easily take the old geezer. He agreed to abide by the local custom.

The old farmer slowly climbed out of his pickup and walked up to the attorney.

His first kick planted the toe of his boot right into the lawyer’s groin and dropped him to his knees.

His second kick, to the belly, doubled the lawyer over, gagging for air.

The lawyer was on hands and knees when the farmer’s third kick, to his rump, sent him face first into a fresh cow pie.

The lawyer summoned every bit of his willpower and managed to struggle to his feet.

Wiping his face with the arm of his jacket he said, “Okay, you old fool. Now it’s my turn.”

The old farmer grinned and answered, “Nah, I give up. You can have the pheasant!”

What can we learn from this amusing hunting story? The lawyer assumed that he knew it all. Assuming can be a dangerous thing – take our economy, many people assume that Tama County’s economy is struggling, 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 two examples:

Eric Haughey saw surrounding towns doing curbside recycling and thought he should offer it in Tama and Toledo.   He started a Facebook page asking if local residents would be interested. Now Razz Recycling has a large residential customer base and is working on growing its commercial customer base too.  He sells the cardboard he collects to Tama Paperboard, which is a 100% recyclable mill.

Corey Brown needed to make a change in his eating habits in order to improve his health.  After seeing positive results, he opened FUELED, a health food restaurant in downtown Toledo to help people make better food choices.  He started with a juicer and sold healthy juices, and had an opportunity to open a restaurant with the kitchen appliances in place.  He has a $0 marketing budget and has $0 debt, using Facebook to post his menu daily.  He buys 75% of his produce locally and will buy organic from anyone.

Don’t make assumptions like the big city lawyer – take time to come and see what 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.

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