The region that constitutes Mid-Iowa Development Association (MIDAS) consists of all of Calhoun, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Webster, and Wright Counties, as well as all local governments within this six-county area.
The region is predominantly rural, covering an area of 3,459 square miles with a 2010 population of 93,710 people. The City of Fort Dodge (population of 25,206) is the only community with a population greater than 10,000. There are four communities in the region (Clarion, Eagle Grove, Humboldt, and Webster City) with populations greater than 2,500.
Agriculture and agricultural related businesses are the major economic activities in the region, along with several major industrial employers and service-oriented businesses. A major trend is the shift from an agricultural economy to one of manufacturing, services, wholesale and retail trade, and government. But, in all scenarios, economic development for the region is, and will remain directly dependent upon the agricultural community. It is expected that major economic development projects will be in the form of "value added agricultural enterprises" and others that provide agricultural services.
The soil is the most precious raw material noted for the region and can become the economic engine upon which a renewed economy will be based. The current proliferation of, and emerging political debate regarding confinement agriculture, will have significant impacts for the region. The second area of growth may occur in the acquisition of processing facilities that use the abundant grain as industrial "feed stock."
A dependable and efficient transportation system is vital to the social and economic growth of an area. Minimum commuting and hauling duration and costs for moving goods and services ensure competitive products, services, and an advantage for acquiring new industries. In addition, a diversified system can ensure continuity of movement in bad weather, labor disputes, breakdowns, repairs, construction, etc.
The MIDAS region exhibits the following attributes: