Volunteers help with Stacyville#039;s economy

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 11, 2002

The Economic Development Corporation of Stacyville, Iowa was formed two years ago to keep this rural haven alive and kicking. City Clerk Harlan Bisbee and long time resident, Leroy Seward, are a part of this volunteer group of five board members. They meet once a month and they have the support of 50 individuals from Stacyville and the surrounding area to work at keeping Stacyville growing.

They have put together a colorful brochure highlighting activities of the town and stressing what a good place it is to raise families. The current project they are working on with the Atlantic Business Development is to move Dutch dairy farmers to this area to settle and start dairy farms.

Bisbee elaborated on this project. "In Holland, the government is forcing dairy farmers to close down their operations. Five farmers per day are leaving Holland because there are so many people in Holland and the livestock and manure is too close to where people live. In three years times they predict that 14,000 dairy farms will be closing down."

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Stacyville is one of the target areas that was chosen to relocate the Dutch dairy farmers. A former resident of Stacyville works for the Iowa Extension Office and he suggested Stacyville to the Atlantic Business Development Corporation. Representatives from the Atlantic Business Development visited Stacyville this past summer.

Bisbee and Seward were part of the group that greeted them and spent the day showing them Stacyville.

The corporation was pleased with Stacyville and they are working to bring five Dutch dairy farm families to Iowa by next spring.

"When we heard they were coming is when we really worked to get the brochure together. They were pleased with the visual surroundings of Stacyville. We served them a nice supper. They said we did a wonderful job," said Bisbee.

In all Seward and Bisbee said there will be around 50 new residents to Stacyville. The new residents will be using the businesses in town, such as the vet, elevator, repair shops and other surrounding area businesses.

"This is going to happen," said Bisbee. "They will build a facility to help the farmers get set up. They will be helping them get started. The dairy farmers will start out with 40 to 80 acre farms."

The EDA held a public forum explaining about the new immigrants coming and

the public is supportive of the new dairy farmers moving here.

"We hope to have a larger population and the new families will be involved

in our churches and schools," said Bisbee.