Postville, Iowa

Postville is located in the rolling hills of north-eastern Iowa. The colors of the surrounding landscape change with the seasons, from the rich, deep greens of spring after the corn sprouts, to the golden browns of fall and the harvest, to the bleak, white emptiness of winter. Postville’s immediate setting is unremarkable, but it's surrounded by spectacular scenery.

The Mississippi River is about half an hour away; the high bluffs that line the river in that part of Iowa offer some of the most beautiful vistas in the country. To the north and south of Postville lie deep valleys lined with spring-fed creeks, some filled with trout. Picturesque farms overlook the valleys, and dairy cattle graze the hillsides.
No Wal-Mart or McDonalds interrupts this idyll. These so-called outposts of civilization are twenty-five miles away in Decorah, an otherwise quaint college town. The nearest airport with scheduled service is more than an hour and a half away, in La Crosse Wisconsin, though most Postvillians drive an extra half hour drive to the busier Cedar Rapids airport. Some even drive three and half hours to Minneapolis to catch a direct flight.
In the entire town of Postville, you won’t find a single stoplight. It doesn’t need one. There’s just one four-way stop, where U.S. Highways 52 And 18 head southwest toward the Mississippi River. When siren goes off at the volunteer fire department, the police chief or one of his staff stands in the middle of the intersection of Greene and Tilden streets to stop the grain trucks and other vehicles coming into town, clearing a path for the fire trucks.
On a pleasant day, it’s not uncommon for people to walk the length and breadth of town. Nothing and no one is more than a few blocks away. Everyone seems to know where everyone else lives. Just like your typical small town.