About the Center for Rural Affairs

We are unapologetically rural. We stand up for the small family farmer and rancher, new business owner, and rural communities.
Declare your pride in small town America!

For more than 40 years, we've been a leading force engaging people to build a better rural future. We live this work. Welcome to our rural revolution.

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It Starts...

We breathed fire and ran on unrefined youthful energy. It was 1973. Our founders, Don Ralston and Marty Strange, captured our early history here (recommended reading!).

We knew that if we wanted federal policy to work for rural Americans, we had to raise our voice. So we opened shop in an old storefront in rural Nebraska and put nose-to-grindstone. We grew a rural grassroots community. We spoke up about corporate wrongs against family farmers. We took rural voices to Washington. 

We believed we would succeed. It was hard work, but our passion kept us standing strong for rural Americans. And now, we’re over 30,000 and growing across the nation. We’re proud of our track record of successes. See a timeline with some of our major accomplishments here.

As long as rural advocates are needed for health care, clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and community development, you can bet we’ll be in the front lines, building a bright rural future.

Make yourself at home and take look around! We look forward to working with you for rural Americans.

About the Center for Rural Affairs Notes

 

The Good Herdsman - Celebrating Ten Unapologetically Rural Years

Throughout my years I’ve recognized that a good herdsman understands that when working with and sorting livestock, it’s best to move gently, quietly and step towards the cattle, working with the animals rather against. It’s a science and a real art that requires patience and knowledge of the animal.
 
Recently while sorting cattle it dawned on me that the way a good herdsman interacts with livestock isn’t all that different from how a good leader interacts with his colleagues and peers.
 

Center Spirit Award

Memorial Day weekend kicked off a new Center for Rural Affairs tradition - a spirit award! The inaugural award went to Dena Beck, Senior Project Leader and Loan Specialist for our small business development program, REAP.

Dena had posted a photograph of her spiffy home office on facebook, adorned with the wood window frame carved with the Center's logo. (See it above.)

Lock in Your Legacy

Through years of deliberate donations in support of the Center for Rural Affairs, many of you have built your legacy by associating your name with creating a bright and vibrant future for rural America. 

In the last year, Congress has passed two laws to make it easier than ever for you to lock in your legacy. Doing so will ensure your contributions continue to make a difference for our children, our children’s children, and beyond.