Farm Policy News

New Farmers Find Thriving Opportunities in Niche & Specialty Markets

Family farming has long been an important contributor to community and economic vitality in rural America. But the opportunities in conventional family farming are shrinking. Young Americans who want to start 21st century family farms are increasingly looking to opportunities in niche and specialty markets.

Time to “Get Real” with Washington

“It’s time for us to have an adult conversation with folks in rural America,” said Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack in a recent speech. “Rural America with a shrinking population is becoming less and less relevant to the politics of this country, and we had better recognize that, and we better begin to reverse it.”

The secretary made some valid points. But we think it goes both ways. It’s also time for rural folks to have an adult conversation with those who are supposed to represent them. The politics of Washington are also becoming less and less relevant to our real problems.

Get Your Advocacy On!

A new year brings new opportunities, as well as challenges. At the Center for Rural Affairs, you know we’re dedicated to creating genuine opportunity for rural people and communities. By successfully engaging lots of you in the public policy decisions that impact your lives and your communities, the odds of success skyrocket.

Over the next several months, it’s especially critical for Nebraskans to engage in decisions being made in the legislature. There will likely be bold proposals introduced that we believe will harm rural Nebraskans and their communities.

Lame Duck: Inaction on Farm Bill Will Halt Innovation

Congress has plenty of unfinished business to tackle during the lame-duck session. Will the Farm Bill be one of them?

Here’s what is at stake if they fail to act during the lame-duck session. Funding for conservation and several important rural programs is in jeopardy, programs that help create a future for beginning farmers and ranchers and rural communities alike.

The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program will stop making grants to provide training, mentoring, business and marketing planning, and much more for beginning farmers and ranchers.

What Happens Now with the Farm Bill?

What happens now that Congress failed to pass a new farm bill or extend the current one for another year? Some programs will continue, while others will not. At least not until Congress does their job of not only passing a farm bill, but passing one that works for rural America.

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