About the Center for Rural Affairs

We are unapologetically rural. We stand up for the small family farmer, new business owner, and rural communities. For over 40 years, we've been a leading force engaging people to build a better rural future.

We believe that where you live shouldn't determine your access to opportunity, education, and health. That's why we take rural voices to Washington, and we don't back down until we see that policies reflect the needs of all rural citizens.

We live for this work. Welcome to our rural movement.

Join us today.

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

 

We Are Rural: 2013 Annual Report

The Center for Rural Affairs turned 40 years old this year. Think about that for a minute. When Marty Strange and Don Ralston first threw open the doors 40 years ago, it was anyone’s guess if the scrappy organization on main street in a town of 800 would make it for one year.

It didn’t take long before rural people were flocking in from across the state.

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From Coal to Clean Energy

Hallam, Nebraska, received some good news this week. Volkswind USA Inc., an international wind developer, applied for permits to build 54 wind turbines in Lancaster and Gage counties.  According to a recent Lincoln Journal Star article, Volkswind says the wind farm would provide more than 200 jobs during construction, additional full-time operating jobs and about $700,000 in total property tax benefits annually to both counties. Volkswind is submitting proposals to Lincoln Electric System (LES), which is looking to add up to 100 megawatts of wind energy to their portfolio.

Celebrate Farms and Schools in Nebraska

In October, America celebrates the harvest, and specifically initiatives to put healthy, locally grown food on our childrens’ plates at school. And it all starts with America’s farmers and ranchers.
 
Many of us who raise our own food, whether in a pot or a small garden, do so as a hobby. If there’s too much heat, not enough rain or too many pests, we are disappointed and frustrated but the love of growing fresh, nutritious foods pulls us through tough times.