Small Towns News

Congress Overlooks America’s Small Towns

To win good policy, we need your voice.

Small towns and ordinary rural people are receiving short shrift in federal policy.

Our recent study found that USDA spent twice as much on subsidies to just the 20 biggest farms in each of 13 leading farm states – 260 mega farms – as it spent on rural development programs to create strong communities and economic opportunity for millions of rural people in 260 struggling rural counties in those same 13 states.

Veterans Fight to Farm

New Help Available for Veterans Seeking Entry into Agriculture

 With his son, Matt celebrates his return home after serving in Iraq. Matt and his family look to begin a new chapter of their lives operating a farm, but a lack of access to land, financing, and support has made this journey difficult. 

Matt recently returned from military service in Iraq. He works for a construction company that builds beachfront high rises in South Carolina. But this hard working, self-reliant veteran dreams of a greater future for himself and his family.

He spent his childhood on a horse farm and joined the National Guard in college. After graduation, Matt was posted to Iraq and served as a Cavalry Scout Platoon Leader, putting his leadership abilities and hands-on approach to life into action.

For the moment, Matt’s construction job pays the bills. But for a driven veteran coping with the upheaval of returning from combat to civilian life, it isn’t the right fit. Matt wants to create something he values, work for himself, and build a solid future for his young family.

These days, Matt, wife Kimberly, and their two sons are looking for a farm. Matt wants to run an environmentally conscious livestock operation producing pastured meats. Kimberly’s marketing background will help build a profitable operation.

EPA Regulations Usher in Industry Change

Two new regulations handed down by the Environmental Protection Agency will have a significant impact on the energy industry in 2012 – and beyond.

The Clean Air Act is already one of the most successful public health programs in American history, with a return of more than $30 in benefits for every dollar invested in pollution reductions. In 2010 alone the program prevented an esti¬mated 160,000 cases of premature mortality, 130,000 heart attacks, 86,000 hospital visits, 13 million lost work days, and approximately 1.7 million asthma attacks.

Transmission Line Delivers New Jobs and Greater Capacity

View Transmission Map in a larger map

The Rock Island transmission line will enable a new generation of wind farms across the upper Midwest and Great Plains by collaborating with landowners and local businesses in a quest to tap some of the best wind resources in the nation. And along with it come rural economic development opportunities and jobs.

Developed by Clean Line Energy, this project will deliver 3,500 megawatts of wind energy from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota to large cities in Illinois and eastward. Once completed, Rock Island will power 1.4 million homes in the Midwest with clean, safe and renewable energy.


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