AgVA’s Executive Director Selected for Governor’s Investing in Rural Iowa Task Force

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced members on the three Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative task forces on Thursday.

Last month, the governor signed Executive Order No. 3, creating the initiative. She invited Iowans to apply for membership on the task forces: the Investing in Rural Iowa Task Force; the Growing Rural Iowa Task Force; and the Connecting Rural Iowa Task Force. Iowans had two weeks to apply, and in that time, the Governor’s Office received nearly 180 applications.

“As a product of rural Iowa, it’s a passion of mine to preserve and celebrate our state’s rich rural heritage,” Gov. Reynolds said. “I’m very proud of the task force members I’m appointing today. They are solutions-oriented, experienced and passionate about rural Iowa.”

Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg and Sandy Ehrig, chair of the Iowa Rural Development Council and leader of Iowa Farm Bureau’s Renew Rural Iowa program, will serve as co-chairs of the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative.

“With the governor’s appointments to the task forces today, our work can begin in earnest,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said. “The governor said she was looking for solutions-oriented Iowans. We found them, and now we’re going to get to work!”

The initiative will kick off in September with three Ideas Summits. Task force members will be asked to come with a developed proposal on how to address the topic.

There are also several ways the public can get involved. The Ideas Summits will be open to all Iowans and include time for public comment. Iowans who aren’t able to attend the Ideas Summits will be able to submit their ideas online at The website will also include more information on the task force members, meetings and news. Iowans can also engage with the initiative on social media (Facebook and Twitter).


Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg
Sandy Ehrig

Executive Council

Christopher Ball, Bloomfield
David Barker, Iowa City
Sue Cosner, West Des Moines
Dave Duncan, Clive
Steve Gilbert, Leon
Hollee McCormick, Harpers Ferry
Emily Schmitt, Clear Lake
Jenae Stokesbary, Pella
Jim Thompson, Ankeny

Investing in Rural Iowa Task Force - Ex-Officios

Sec. of Ag., Mike Naig
Sen. Mark Lofgren
Sen. Tod Bowman
Rep. David Kerr
Rep. Wes Breckenridge

Investing in Rural Iowa Task Force

David Barker, Iowa City
Joanie Bond, Earlham
Hunter Callanan, Clear Lake
Jude Conway, Adel
Sue Cosner, West Des Moines
Shannon Erb, Leon
Steve Gilbert, Leon
Lisa Houser, Monroe
Kiana Johnson, Primghar
Bob Josten, Clive
Stephanie Larscheid, Livermore
Vickie Larson, Mount Pleasant
Nathan Katzer, Cumming
Joshua Merchant, Storm Lake
Chuck Morris, Clarinda
Seth Moulton, Ankeny
Wayne Pantini, Creston
Mark Reinig, Elkader
Terri Rosonke, Prairie City
Nick Sorensen, Jefferson
Sarah Thompson, Radcliffe
Bret Wedemeyer, Casey

Growing Rural Iowa Task Force - Ex-Officios

Sec. of Ag., Mike Naig
Sen. Annette Sweeney
Sen. Amanda Ragan
Rep. Bobby Kaufmann
Rep. Amy Nielsen

Growing Rural Iowa Task Force

Kathy Anderson, Johnston
Whitney Baethke, Montezuma
Stacy Besch, Algona
Jennifer Crall, Ankeny
Rob Denson, Ankeny
Effie Hill, Fort Dodge
James Hoelscher, Cedar Falls
Philip Jones, Waverly
Caleb Knutson, Hubbard
Christian Lutz, Independence
Ashley Moyer, Birmingham
Jason Neises, Dubuque
Ron Reischl, Manning
Emily Schmitt, Clear Lake
Gerry Schnepf, Johnston
Jenae Stokesbary, Pella
Sharon Stroh, Ottumwa
Mike Taylor, Adel
Jim Thompson, Ankeny
Justin Wagner, Harlan
Bethany Wilcoxon, Des Moines
Rick Young, Jewell

Connecting Rural Iowa Task Force - Ex-Officios

Sec. of Ag., Mike Naig
Sen. Jake Chapman
Sen. Kevin Kinney
Rep. Jane Bloomingdale
Rep. Phil Miller

Connecting Rural Iowa Task Force

Bill Anderson, Pierson
Barb Baker, Grinnell
Christopher Ball, Bloomfield
Ryan Boone, Sioux Center
Sandee Buysse, Riverside
Josh Byrnes, Osage
Kevin Cabbage, Stanton
Dave Duncan, Clive
Stacie Euken, Wiota
Dennis Fraise, Burlington
Caleb Housh, Seymour
Billi Hunt, Urbandale
Linc Kroeger, Des Moines
Katherine LaBree, Aplington
Danna Larson, Odebolt
Deb Lucht, Minburn
Patricia Manuel, Olin
Hollee McCormick, Harpers Ferry
Grant Menke, Ankeny
Tom Petersen, Cedar Rapids
Steve Simons, Larchwood
Stacey Stewart, Cedar Rapids

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