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.

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.

Join our newsletter list to learn about what's happening in rural America and at the Center!

 We have offices in three main locations: Lyons, Nebraska, at 145 Main St., PO Box 136; Nevada, Iowa, at 1400 Fawcett Parkway, Suite D2; and Hartington, Nebraska, at 106 N. Broadway, PO Box 736; as well as in-home offices throughout Nebraska.

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

 

Center for Rural Affairs July and August newsletter

Note from the Editor:

This edition of our newsletter focuses on our value of widespread OWNERSHIP of small businesses, farms, and ranches by the people who work them.

In our executive director’s essay, he outlines our agenda to combat capital control by spreading small business ownership in rural communities.

We helped Vicente Acevedo and Magdalena Barrios obtain their land, adding one more family farm back into the rural landscape, and allowing the couple to achieve their ownership dream.

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Center for Rural Affairs May and June newsletter

Note from the Editor:

Honoring our spring tradition of recognizing graduates close to our organization, we offer our best wishes to Brock Vetick, son of Shawn and Pat Vetick. Shawn is our accounting clerk. Brock will graduate from Lyons-Decatur Northeast High School. He plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and major in plant biology. His goal is to become a plant geneticist.

This edition

This edition of our newsletter focuses on citizen INVOLVEMENT and action to shape the future.

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Staff member featured in 2018 Farmer’s Almanac

Center for Rural Affairs project organizer, Kirstin Bailey, is featured in The 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac. Bailey was contacted to take part in their “Special Report: Faces of Farming,” a compilation of input from farmers and growers throughout America.

The answers Bailey and her fellow farmers provided spoke to both changes underfoot and timeless traditions.

From the desk of the Executive Director: Food security takes root in Native communities

Six years ago, three members of our staff started meeting with representatives of the Santee Sioux Nation in Northeast Nebraska. The conversation centered on building food security for tribal members. 

In-depth conversation and careful planning helped everyone who came to the table build trust with one another. Through dialogue, it became clear there was an opportunity to collaborate with local community members.

Small towns: Unique and exciting

Small towns can be places of art and culture showcased in unique and exciting ways. Folks assume that only cities have such opportunities, but our project shows that assumption is not correct.

We looked at community-supported art as one way to bring attention to arts and culture in the small towns of Decatur, Lyons, and Oakland. These towns then worked together to organize and lead the Byway of Art Tour held Sept. 30, showcasing these cultural gems in a thoroughly enjoyable way.