Pathfinders' Year Ahead, Iowa's Byways, Small Business Loans and More!
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December 2018
Season's Greetings, from Everyone at Pathfinders!  

In this newsletter, we share Pathfinders' priority areas for the year ahead and some of the projects we will be undertaking in 2019. 

We also want to spread the word about our small business loan program and about an estate planning event our friends at Mahaska/Marion Women, Land and Legacy are hosting next month. 

If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to call or email us: 
641-472-6177 or

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. 


Anna Bruen
Executive Director
Pathfinders’ Priority Areas

As the year comes to an end, Pathfinders is eagerly planning projects for 2019. Priority areas which we will be focusing on in the year ahead include: Community development, water quality and soil health, and housing.

Community Development- Pathfinders will continue to offer small business loans, support the Jefferson County Hunger Dialogue, and act as the fiscal agent for Early Childhood Iowa. We will also be organizing cultural events along the Historic Hills Scenic Byway, and facilitating community projects throughout the region at the request of municipalities and community groups. We have capacity for additional projects in the areas of grant writing, project development, environmental assessments, facilitation, and strategic planning – contact the office, if you have a project you’d like us to consider.
Soil Health & Water Quality- We will be addressing this priority area through our continued partnerships with the Cedar Creek and Lower Skunk River Water Quality Initiative projects to implement Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy; and we are planning for new Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation projects including landowner outreach meetings.
Rural Housing- Pathfinders will be helping communities identify and address their housing needs using a Rural Housing Readiness Assessment toolkit created in collaboration with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. We are also coordinating a rural housing conference which will take place on May 21st in Fairfield – more details to come!

Loan Funds Available for Small Businesses

Pathfinders RC&D has loan funds available for qualifying small business enterprises in the counties of Appanoose, Davis, Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Lee, Louisa, Keokuk, Mahaska, Monroe, Marion Van Buren and Wapello. 

Loans are given for the creation, retention, and expansion of small private business enterprises based on one more of the following priorities:
  • Natural resource based enterprises,
  • Value-added agricultural enterprises,
  • Enterprises providing needed facilities and services to low-income, under employed, or the elderly,
  • Small commercial or retail businesses.

Loans are typically $5,000 - $20,000 with a ten year term. Examples of businesses that have received a Pathfinders Small Business Loan include: a bagel shop, an insurance business, a vegetable farm, and a jewelry store.  

For more information Contact Pathfinders: 641-472-6177 or

Iowa’s Byways

You may know that Pathfinders manages the Historic Hills Scenic Byway, but did you know that there are 11 other State Byways, and two National Byways traversing our state too?

Iowa’s National Byways:

  • Great River Road National Scenic Byway
  • Loess Hill National Scenic Byway

Iowa’s State Byways:

  • Covered Bridges Scenic Byway
  • Delaware Crossing Scenic Byway
  • Driftless Area Scenic Byway
  • Glacial Trail Scenic Byway
  • Grant Wood Scenic Byway
  • Historic Hills Scenic Byway
  • Iowa Valley Scenic Byway
  • Jefferson Highway Heritage Byway
  • Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway
  • River Bluffs Scenic Byway   
  • Western Skies Scenic Byway   
  • White Pole Road Scenic Byway

Each Byway offers a distinct flavor of Iowa Culture. There are many recreational, historic, cultural and scenic attractions awaiting discovery on these less-traveled routes! Start planning your next Iowa adventure and visit to access some great tools!

Jan 28 & Feb 25- Estate Planning Sessions with Mahaska/Marion Women Land & Legacy

Women who own farmland and/or farm in Mahaska and Marion Counties are invited to join their Women, Land & Legacy (WLL) team for a 2-Part Learning Session about Planning for the Future – Succession & Estate Planning.
Session 1: Tips on How to Best Organize Your Farm & Personal Information
Monday, January 28th, 2019
Registration: 6:00pm
Event: 6:30pm
ISU Extension, 212 N I Street, Oskaloosa
Contact: Wendi Denham, (641) 673-3476 ext. 2

Session 2: Follow-up & Questions to Estate & Planning Professionals
Monday, February 25th, 2019
Registration: 6:00pm
Event: 6:30pm
Peace Tree Brewery, 107 W Main St, Knoxville
Contact: Angie Vos, (641) 842-3114 ext. 200

These events are free and open to the public, both women and men. An RSVP is encouraged. A light meal will be served. 

Please contact the respective persons listed above by January 18th and February 15th for each event.

More information available on their Facebook Page:
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Pathfinders RC&D
304 South Maple - Suite 101
Fairfield, IA 52556
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Pathfinders RC&D · 304 South Maple - Suite 101 · Fairfield, IA 52556 · USA

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