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Earning Respect, Improving the Community
IN A TOWN OF EIGHT HUNDRED PEOPLE, surrounded by cornfields and chicken hatcheries, and located more than a hundred miles from the nearest city, a man in his early thirties could easily become discouraged. But John Owens has lived here for only a year. He is still high on the smalltown values that drew him here as a high school social studies teacher with two young children of his own. Although the town’s population has dipped slightly in recent years, the local farm economy has been strong. The John Deere dealer just finished constructing a new building, and there is a recently opened medical clinic. Having escaped the housing bubble that put people in many parts of the country in financial ...