Merchant Selected by Governor to Serve on Rural Task Force
President Joshua D. Merchant will join several BVU alumni on three recently-announced rural initiative task forces.
Buena Vista University President Joshua D. Merchant has been named by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds to serve on the Governor’s Empower Rural Iowa Initiative Task Force. Governor Reynolds announced members of three different task forces at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday, Aug. 18. President Merchant will serve on the Investing in Rural Iowa Task Force.
In addition to the Investing in Rural Iowa Task Force, the governor also created the Growing Rural Iowa Task Force and the Connecting Rural Iowa Task Force. She invited Iowans to apply for membership on the task forces earlier this year and received nearly 180 applications.
“I am honored to serve with others from across the state on this task force,” says President Merchant. “It’s critically important to have strong and vibrant rural communities throughout the state. That’s one of the reasons we’re developing an Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Resource Management and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship at BVU.”
The Institute will be home to a number of agricultural business and science programs, equipping students with the skills needed to secure employment opportunities in the areas of food, agriculture, renewable resources, the environment, and more. Classes in agricultural business and agricultural science will begin in fall 2019.
"I am honored to serve with others from across the state on this task force. It’s critically important to have strong and vibrant rural communities throughout the state."
- Joshua D. Merchant
The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship will equip students with the necessary skills to support and empower social, civic, and economic growth needed in rural America today. One of the Center’s goals is to help put young adults back into rural communities to use their talents to help their businesses and, in turn, their rural communities thrive.
In addition to President Merchant, several BVU alums will serve on the task forces:
- Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, ’00
- Senator Amanda Ragan, ’93
- Kiana Johnson, Primghar, ’01
- Steve Simons, Larchwood, ’80