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The Science Behind Planet Earth’s Atmosphere

Summer is hotter than winter, right? Ever wonder why summer is warmer than winter, and why Phoenix is hotter than Fargo? The answer to both of these questions, of course, has to do with how much heat is coming into the atmosphere, and how much is going out.

The sun’s rays are much more directly overhead in the summer because our side of the Earth is pointed towards the sun and less directly overhead in the winter. Likewise, the sun’s rays in Phoenix are more direct over a longer part of the year, so it is warmer than Fargo.

October Is National Farm to School Month

On September 11, 2014, Nebraska Governor Heineman will sign a proclamation initiated by the Center for Rural Affairs declaring October 2014 as the state's Farm to School Month. Political figures across the state will be invited to sit at lunch tables and join in a meal with students.

The proclamation reads: “THEREFORE, the state of Nebraska declares October as Farm to School Month, recognizing the nutritional, academic, and economic opportunities local food and school partnerships provide for Nebraskans.”

Testimony on Limiting Carbon Pollution Drawn from Rural People and Stories

I traveled to Denver in late July to testify at a public hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon pollution rule. The rule will rein in carbon pollution and curb climate change. I brought your stories – the stories of rural people we know to the hearing.

Stories from people like Matt Russell, a 5th generation farmer from Iowa who feels he’s already experiencing the effects of climate change. He’s worried we won’t be able to meet the needs of a growing population if the agricultural systems we have in place now are no longer viable with a changing climate.

Clean Water Act: What Questions Do You Have?

The Environmental Protection Agency has released a rule to clarify what the law is regarding which bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act. This rule, sometimes called the Waters of the U.S., or “WOTUS,” has stirred up some controversy, especially among farmers and ranchers.

At the Center, we strive to bring you accurate information about the issues that concern rural people, so you can participate in our democratic process.

Rural Small Business Hiring on the Rise

Our new assessment of rural small business trends, needs, and concerns in Nebraska shows some promising data. Most notable was the overall increase in hiring and job creation activity. The dramatic rise in Latino-owned businesses participating in the survey was also encouraging.

Interesting demographic trends among Latino business owners came to light. The owners were, on average, considerably younger than the overall sampling group. Also, business owners were more likely to be women. These trends create unique business needs and exciting development opportunities.

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