Panelists announced for Rural Resiliency Forum in Madrid, Iowa

Small Towns

Cody Smith, policy associate,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1016; Teresa Hoffman, policy communications associate,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1012; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1025

MADRID, IOWA—A trio of local community leaders have been announced as panelists for an upcoming Rural Resiliency Forum in Madrid.

Steve Carlson, Emily Coll, and Amy Yoakum, all members of the Boone County community, will be featured for their work in conservation, water quality, climate, farmer profitability, and more. The forum, sponsored by the Center for Rural Affairs, will be from from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 10.

“I'm looking forward to being a part of this forum to share my experiences, and the resources I'm aware of that may be useful for others,” said Carlson, a Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner. “What I'm really excited about is being able to connect with other community members concerned about these issues, and to learn from them.”

Carlson will discuss his experiences with conservation, water quality, and his management of an apple orchard in central Iowa. In addition to his work on the Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District, Carlson also works for the Practical Farmers of Iowa as a membership manager.

Coll is a program coordinator for the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Farm, Food and Enterprise Development Program where she focuses her work on financial analysis and market diversification of edible horticulture crops.

“I am excited to participate because of the importance of farm resiliency in this ever-challenging field of farming, especially in the face of a changing climate, stressed markets, and aging rural populations,” Coll said.

Yoakum, assistant program manager for Conservation Corps Iowa, and a Madrid resident, has more than 20 years of experience in environmental education and natural resource management.

“I am excited to have discussions with my fellow community members about issues close to my heart such as water quality and natural resources,” Yoakum said.

Yoakum holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University in fisheries and wildlife biology. She has served on both the Madrid City Council and as mayor, and currently sits on the Boone County Board of Adjustment.

In addition to these panelists, other community members are encouraged to attend and share their work on the topics of climate, clean energy, water quality, and more.

“In all, this event serves as an opportunity for all rural Iowans to engage with one another about strategies that will help build a brighter, more resilient future for our communities,” said Cody Smith, policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs. “There aren’t enough opportunities for rural Iowans to be engaged in the decisions that impact the future of their communities—this is our attempt to change that.”

Click here to RSVP.