Forecast can be changed

I seriously don?t believe the study that forecasts Marion County population will be only 4,000 people in 50 years, according to the story that ran in our newspaper a couple of weeks ago. I would be 120 years old by then and I am sure I won?t be here to check it out.

The latest census bureau data I could find had our county at 12,208 in 2014 which is down from 12,660 people at the 2010 census. County population in the 1920s was nearly 23,000 people, which I think was because there were many more farm families and many had in the neighborhood of 10 children each.

It will be up to everyone to work on declining population together. The best way to do that is to entice young families to live here. One of the best ways I know to do that is to follow the advice of Mark Rogers in the following item.

?

I agree 100 percent with Mark Rogers who wrote in his letter to the Free Press two weeks ago that the way to attract young people and business to Marion County is to have reliable and fast Internet.

I have said it numerous times and I am 100 percent certain this will be one of the keys to bringing and keeping the younger people plugged in to Marion County. Pun intended.

?

The other way is to provide affordable housing. This, of course, is easier said than done.

We have great schools and churches already. The lifestyle of rural living is not a hard sell in itself.

?

Here is an old sales tip from our Marketing Dude, Bruce Behymer, in Newton.

?When hunting moose, remember to shoot rabbits or you will starve.?

If you are selling anything, I believe it is really good advice.

?

My sister Elaine makes comments about my column from time to time. She emailed me to say my DIY?projects should rather be tagged DYI projects. Instead of do it yourself it would be better named do yourself in.

?

I know a little boy whose parents now own Hillsboro Hardware. I stopped by the other day and he was holding up his hand, which I thought meant he wanted to high-five me. When I tried to oblige, he said, ?No-o-o-o. I was just waving.?

?

Joey and I headed up to the Prairie Meadows Casino and Race Track near Altoona, Iowa, for our Mid?west Free Community Papers spring conference.

I met a guy who was from Mankato, Minn. I have told the story that Mankato was the place where I got my first cowboy boots? and I shared that story to break the ice. Then he told me he bought the nice cowboy boots he was wearing in Wichita. I said, ?Sheplers?? He said, ?Sheplers.?

?

Iowa is a long distance to drive for two days, but now, after retiring from the board of directors, it?s only twice instead of four times a year.

?

If you wish to share your comments or ideas, my e-mail address is joel@
hillsborofreepress.com.