Community Development News

The cost of doing away with USDA Rural Development

Over the years, U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grants and loans have served as a lifeline for rural communities, providing critical funding for water and wastewater infrastructure, public and community buildings, and essential community service facilities. Yet the president’s proposed budget zeros out allocations for Rural Development, leaving small towns with few options and bleak prospects for continued growth.

Immigration and inclusion: the Center for Rural Affairs perspective

For hundreds of years, immigration has shaped U.S. history. And, it continues to shape America, especially in rural areas.

The Center’s immigration and inclusion work was recently featured on Totally Rural, a podcast hosted by Daisy Dyer Duerr.

Guests were Carlos Bárcenas and Jordan Feyerherm, who lead our community work. They promote inclusion in rural communities by hosting leadership trainings that focus on growth, diversity, and demographics.

We stand with 578 others opposing elimination of USDA Rural Development

Yesterday, we were among 578 organizations, businesses, and local governments that signed a letter opposing the elimination of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development mission area and undersecretary.

For more than 20 years, they have helped rural communities develop and expand thriving businesses, create new economic opportunities, and build and maintain housing, water, electric, telecommunications, and other rural infrastructure.

From the desk of the executive director: New approach needed for small town housing

Housing in small towns would take care of itself, or so I used to believe.

If we could get employment, education, health care, and quality of life right, the market would surely solve housing. In many rural areas, I figured, decades of population decline left more housing stock than people. Certainly a lack of houses wasn’t stopping people from moving to our small town.

I was wrong.

Olivas receives 2016 Bob Steffen Pioneer Award

The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Aida Olivas, of Hastings, Neb., to receive its 2016 Bob Steffen Pioneer Award. She was recognized at an award ceremony on March 10 in York, Neb.

The Bob Steffen Pioneer Award is bestowed by the Center for Rural Affairs each year to a person or persons who work with the Center to make extraordinary contributions in building community engagement within their own communities. People who receive this award provide a model for innovation, stewardship or community development.

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