Farm and Community Program

The Farm and Community Program provides people of rural America the hope and opportunity to live in healthy, welcoming, sustainable, rural communities while promoting strong, independent, entrepreneurial growth through regional food systems, family farms, ranches, and businesses.

 
The program addresses two priority areas:

Improving opportunities for stewardship and success for farmers and ranchers.

High-value markets provide economic opportunity over commodity crops for family-scale farms and ranches by matching environmental stewardship with targeted marketing of quality products. Energy resources can also add to profits through conservation and production of agriculture-based renewable energy sources, as well as contribute to economic development of rural areas.

Long-term sustainability of the farm or ranch requires that a new generation can be established. Providing market options, information on alternatives, and asset-building tools are key elements of ensuring that beginners have a viable future. Environmental stewardship that maintains land and other resources on both established and startup farms/ranches is a key to capturing “green” markets, building agritourism opportunities, and maintaining the health of rural residents.

Thriving rural communities with capable rural leaders and entrepreneurs.

Rural communities are a wellspring of entrepreneurial energy and are our national conscience to be good neighbors. The future of our communities relies on effective rural leadership, active entrepreneurship, and commitment to a viable future. Traditional approaches to rural development have ignored small businesses, cooperatives and local priorities.

Our work begins with the assets and strengths of rural communities that are the basis for their future vitality. They have schools that work, strong churches, low crime rates, high levels of community involvement, and business sense. We work in several Nebraska communities to offer inclusive relationshop-building activities, leadership training, youth engagement, and entrepreneurial development programs that enable rural people to build on those assets to create genuine opportunity and build communities in which their children and grandchildren will want to raise their families.

You can find more of this work in the Publications section of our website.

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