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Small Assets, Big Returns

Once again it's the start of a new school year. A combination of nerves, excitement and maybe touch of end-of-vaction disappointment is in the air. We in Cedar County value the quality education that our schools offer. It is often one of the leading reasons why Families choose to live here. Every family know the importance of a quality education is for their children. Though it often is overlooked, this game quality education is just important for the community as a whole. The future success and prosperity of any community is highly dependent on the creativity, intelligence and drive of its youngest members. This hold especially true for rural America communities like those found in Cedar County.

It not an over statement to say one of our County's greatest economic assets is it's youth. While we celebrate our great schools it is also good time to revisit the importance of this community assets. In the book, " The Hollowing Out of American", sociologists Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kefalas studied Iowa communities like those in Cedar County. They describe what they called as a "rural brain drain" through an exodus of young people from America’s countryside. A phenomena that significantly impact that actual survival of these rule communities. What surprised the Authors most was that adults in the community were playing a pivotal part in the town’s decline by pushing the best and brightest young people to leave. It suggest that this rural decline does not have to happen. Thinks like getting youth involved at a early age, making sure we our communities' offer lifestyle that support younger workers and creating a culture of entrepreneurship can reverse these trends. The book is very insightful for those who interesting in community development.

Firestation Bennett
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