black and white photo of a woman smiling at camera, with dark, long hair and a button-up shirt
Bobbi Howard
Farm and Community Director

Rural communities have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My grandparents lived in Rock Port, Missouri, most of my youth, and almost all of my aunts and uncles settled in small communities. I graduated from high school in the small town of Sidney, Iowa.

Supporting rural America is important to a strong economy. So much of our food and resources come from rural communities. These towns produce resilient leaders who know how to get the job done with very few resources.

I've been part of teams in urban areas where there are several partners with very similar funding and objectives, resulting in duplication of services. In rural areas, there aren’t many other resources, if any, available, and that makes the work the Center does to support rural communities so vital. It's important for us to support communities to ensure they have the schools, resources, infrastructure, and environment that attract young families to keep these communities thriving. I am glad to be part of that work.

In my free time, I love to work in my garden. I'm also a Scout mom. I volunteered with my oldest son's troop and am now volunteering with my younger son and daughter’s pack. I cheered on my oldest son when he was in soccer and football, and now I’m enjoying seeing my littles starting to explore their own interests in sports, dance, and other activities.