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

 

Top 10 Rural Research Reports

The Center has long been known for its deep policy research and advocacy. For our more policy-minded readers, we decided to take a step back and revisit the high points with a top 10 list of reports spanning all 40+ years of our research. You’ll find our top 10 reports and their key findings summarized in the next few pages of the linked PDF below. Full versions of these reports can be found at cfra.org/top-10-reports.

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Unapologetically Rural: Clean Energy

“The biggest issue on climate right now is that there is no awareness. We need to let people know.” Those words from our annual report came from Arlyn Schipper.

Last March Arlyn Schipper, a conventional grain farmer in Grundy Center, Iowa, took part in an event we hosted in a nearby town church hall. Our conversation focused on the threat climate change poses to modern agriculture. Until last year Arlyn didn’t believe in climate change. Six months later he was asking a room of 75 rural citizens to take action.