The citizens of Marceline have been concerned over the years about the loss of population and economic decline of Linn County. Marceline, being the second largest town in the County and wishing to preserve its identity, has teamed up with Linn County for Rural Areas Development.
The Rural Areas Development Program is a new concept and a new approach for helping rural people to better their lot. It is an official program of the United States Department of Agriculture and has for its objective better living for rural people both farm and non-farm. Its goals are: (1) prosperous, family farms, (2) new jobs in trades, services, and industry, (3) improved management, use and conservation of natural resources, (4) expanded public services and facilities such as roads, hospitals, schools, power supply, and water systems, and (5) guidance and training of rural youth and adults.
On November 5, 1962, a meeting was held at the Production Credit Building in Brookfield for the purpose of discussing the Rural Areas Development Program and how it might benefit people in Linn County. The need for a program to help Linn County was clearly expressed by Charles Campbell, Extension Director for the County, and by representatives from the area. Those present at the meeting elected officers to put RAD to work. Father Fred J. Barnett of St. Bonaventure Church of Marceline was elected chairman; J. Monroe Rusk, vice-chairman, Don Schooler, vice- chairman, Randall Davis, secretary, and Ira Williams, treasurer. Added to this executive group were Virgil Kennedy, vice-chairman for Farm Operations and Wayne Black, coordinator of activities.
The State RAD Committee officially designated Linn County an RAD Area and this designation was ratified by the National RAD Advisory Board in Washington.
The following Sub-Committees were formed: Rural and Urban Affairs, Recreation and Tourism, Youth, Industry, Finance, Publicity, Education, Agriculture, Business, Flood Control, and Health and Welfare.
Marceline was host for the official launching of Linn County RAD Program. A county wide meeting was held in the Walt Disney School auditorium. Representatives from the National and State RAD Committees were present, along with 350 people from all over the County.
Of special note is the Churches for Progress sub-committee. The Reverend Neil Dubach of Marceline Methodist Church was elected Chairman and the Reverend John Bray was later designated coordinator of Pastoral activities for RAD. The key to any successful Rural Areas Development Program can well * this organization. It has received official recognition in Washington.