News

What if the workers owned it?

The owners of a mid-sized manufacturing plant in a nearby small town were ready to retire, but no one in the next generation was interested in taking over.

The plant was sold to an out-of-state buyer with no local ties. The business was profitable, but the new owners chose to merge operations and close the local plant.

The story is familiar in small towns. Is there an alternative? I think so. Worker-owned co-ops and employee stock ownership plans could offer another path forward for these businesses.

Tax credits should help the distressed

The most effective and desirable economic development strategy for many rural communities is small entrepreneurship. Small businesses are especially important today, as opportunities to attract large employers to remote rural areas diminish.

For the past decade, the Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit has played an essential role in helping these businesses get started. Passed in 2005, the act provides tax credits to applicants for creating or expanding microbusinesses that contribute to the revitalization of economically distressed areas.

Want to have an impact on the livestock industry? There's still time to raise your voice

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published three long-awaited rules in December that would level the playing field for poultry and livestock producers. Officials will accept comments until March 24.

If you care about economic opportunity in rural America and if you care about our poultry and livestock producers, now is the time to raise your voice and submit a comment. This is a chance not to be missed.

Proposed rules

We described the provisions of the three rules previously on our blog.

USDA comment period extended for three Farmer Fair Practice Rules

There is still time to comment on three “Farmer Fair Practice Rules” introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in December. The comment period has been extended to March 24.

The interim and proposed rules level the playing field and would create much needed protections for poultry and livestock producers. Provisions include:

Allowing producers to protect their rights without having to prove that a processor’s actions hurt the entire livestock industry.

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