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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Christmas Bazaar offers Unique, Local Holiday Shopping Experience

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday have passed, but there is still plenty of time for holiday shopping. And for those who aspire to shop local, a great opportunity exists, especially if you're looking to support beginning farmers, artisans and craftspeople close to home.
 
On Saturday, December 13th, check out one of the most unique holiday shopping experiences you'll find in Northeast Nebraska ... or anywhere.
 

Giving Thanks for Unexpected Things

Thanksgiving is when, as a nation, we give thanks for the important blessings in our lives. For many, that likely includes family, good health, a decent job, and the like. And we should be thankful if we enjoy any or all of those things.
 
For some in our society, however, working hard doesn’t always produce enough income to make ends meet. And many rural and small town Americans depend on something that the rest of us don’t likely think about that often, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), to help get through some of the tough times.
 

Remembering a Dear Friend and Colleague

I have to share some tragic and very sad news with you. A dear member of the Center for Rural Affairs staff, and a friend and acquaintance to many of you, Hank Rohling, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on October 24. 

I know many of you - Center donors across the country - had the opportunity to visit with Hank, our major gifts development officer, over the past two years.