About the Center for Rural Affairs

Keep in the know about rural America.

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

 

Unapologetically Rural: Annual Report 2014

It’s an exciting time to be in rural America. (We should know to because our organization has been living and working here for over 40 years). Our work projects and work areas span from community arts projects to small business loans to advocating for policy areas like conservation, farming, energy, and health care. Just as rural America is a diverse place, so is the toolset at the Center for Rural Affairs.

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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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#tbt Defining Moments

Since the founding of the Center for Rural Affairs in the fall of 1973, we’ve seen a lot of history and we’ve made a lot of history. And we’ve experienced our share of defining moments, points in time, decisions, and choices that helped define our organization for years, even decades, to come.

One of those defining moments was the 1982 passage of Initiative 300, Nebraska’s erstwhile constitutional prohibition of corporate farming in Nebraska. Some years back that state constitutional provision was, frustratingly, struck down in federal court.

My Top 10 Organizing Memories!

For the past six years, my life has revolved around the Center for Rural Affairs. Crisscrossing the state of Nebraska, shaking your hand, maybe observing the soil, flora and fauna on your farm and definitely eating the pie at your cafe. In no particular order, below are my most memorable moments of the past six years.

We're pumped to team up with Hear Nebraska!

Have you heard? We're teaming up with Hear Nebraska. (Did you notice the pun there?) It's for The Good Living Tour.

This is a free, all-ages concert series from July 17-25 hosted in nine outdoor settings and traditional venues across Greater Nebraska. The Good Living Tour is also an accompanying community storytelling/marketing project aimed to reach a young, targeted audience through social and traditional media statewide and around the world.