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Honoring Barb David, a Farm to School Champion

On Valentine’s Day this year, Nebraska faced the loss of Farm to School champion and innovative agricultural entrepreneur, Barb David of Oak Ridge Farms Hydroponics. She passed away at home in Ord.

Barb has been a leader with farm to school in the state, actively serving on our Farm to School Advisory Committee. She stood by our side to talk about the challenges and successes of supplying her year-round hydroponic bibb lettuce to Nebraska schools and institutions.

Rural America: It's Complicated, Really Complicated

There are two closely held, widely believed, narratives about rural America. The national media narrative, with roots in the 1980’s farm crisis, is fatalistic. Rural places are dying. It lives on at the Brookings Institute and the New York Times, fueled by demographics that show decades of population decline across much of rural America.
 
The other narrative is woven by small town boosters. They point to new demographic data showing 30-49 year olds returning to small towns. They talk with passion about new businesses and housing shortages.
 

LB 423 Invests in Nebraska Energy Future

Nebraska has some of the best wind energy resources in the nation, yet, wind energy only accounts for 4.8% of Nebraska’s energy generation. Wind power is capable of meeting 118 times Nebraska’s current electricity needs, but we still rely on imports to meet our demand.

Statistics make it easy to forget the communities behind the numbers.

Broken Bow’s wind development, for example, has created 400 construction jobs, 23 permanent positions, and $16 million in direct community investment. As a result, Custer County receives an extra $185,000 in annual tax revenue.

A Break Up Letter to the Suburbs

Dear Suburbs:

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write, but it's official. I have met someone else and I have moved out. I’ve moved to where there are cleaner and greener spaces, leaving behind your noise and light pollution. I think you already know what I am going to say, and yes, I’m talking about Small Town and Rural America.

Federal Budget a Mixed Bag for Rural Priorities

The discussion on federal spending begins each year with release of the president’s budget. This year, there is both good and bad news for small towns and rural communities.

Let’s start with the bad news, because it’s on the important topic of conservation. The president proposes to cut conservation program spending by $859 million. Over half of that would come from cutting three million acres, or $486 million, from the Conservation Stewardship Program.

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