Can you believe it’s already the middle the February? I’m afraid if I blink tomorrow will be Junction Days, and if that’s the case put me in the chair from A Clockwork Orange because we’ve got some big events to highlight before Junction Days presents itself. Let’s dive into the two events that are on my plate currently and then I’ll give you some updates on other projects floating around my office.
First Annual Ag Appreciation Dinner
Here before you know it will be ROCIA’s First Annual Ag Appreciation Dinner on Thursday, March 14th with the Gold Fair Building opening at 6:00 PM. In previous years, the Rural Commerce Committee had put on an Ag Appreciation Breakfast to pay respect to our agricultural roots here in Montgomery County. This year, the committee decided to move the event from a breakfast to a dinner, anticipating that more people would be able to attend. To show our true appreciation to area farmers and Ag related businesses, we have made this a free event for Ag lovers to attend. This has been made possible by our generous sponsors: Iowa Corn Growers Association of Mills & Montgomery County, AgriVision Equipment Group, Goranson Seed & Crop Specialists, Red Oak Chrysler, Precision Diesel, Southwest Iowa Tire & Service, United Farmers Cooperative, and many others. The evening meal will be a rib-eye sandwich with potato salad and baked beans. Adult beverages will also be available for those with a valid ID. After dinner is served Dr. John Lawrence, vice president of ISU Extension and Outreach, will present to the crowd, followed by our award ceremony. Four awards will be presented that evening: The Emerging Leader in Agriculture, Farm Family of the Year, Service to Agriculture – Individual, and Service to Agriculture – Business. If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP by contacting the Red Oak Chamber by February 28th. We’re looking forward to having a fun evening!
Southwest Iowa Buy Local Expo
Shortly after Spring rolls around the calendar the Southwest Iowa Buy Local Expo comes with it on Saturday, April 6th from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Please note that this year, due to the construction project at the High School campus, the Expo has been moved to Inman Primary. We’re looking forward to hosting another smashing opportunity for our area businesses to come together and show off to Southwest Iowa all the great products and services in our area. The first round of vendor invites have been sent off, but coming up soon we’ll be opening the registration process to new vendors as space allows, so stayed tuned for that along with a complete list of vendors that will be at the Expo this year.
Last month I wrote about both the Red Oak Survey and the Red Oak Map. The map is currently being printed and will hopefully be available by the end of the month at select locations, so that’s pretty exciting! Regarding the Red Oak Survey, let me say that I am completely blown away by the community’s participation. If you took the survey, give yourself a pat on the back for me, because I really appreciate your input. Within the first week of the survey’s release we had over 1,000 responses – which is an incredible sample size for this survey! At the next Marketing & Tourism meeting we will dive into the analysis of the data and continue our march forward with Red Oak’s positioning. The last piece of insight I will leave you with to chew on is the community mobile app I’m slowing working on when time permits. Red Oak has so much to offer, but with technology at our fingertips it opens doors to the rest of the world, and with that a flood of information and distractions can almost drown us and even blind us of the things we have access to locally. Instead of banishing technology like witchcraft, let’s find ways we can incorporate it into our community to better connect one-another with what’s going on or to use it in ways to discover the treasures we have here in Red Oak.