About the Center for Rural Affairs News

You are the force that makes our values come alive

As we close out the year, I wanted to share some reflections on our work.

1. Center staff, board and grassroots supporters are fantastic people - As I crisscross the state and the country visiting with Center folks, I’ve come to see how deeply you care about your community. You are passionate about everyone having opportunity no matter where they live or who they are. And many of you dig deep each year to make a gift that supports our cause. You are fantastic.

Sandoval receives Outstanding Service Award

Juan Sandoval, Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) Latino Business Center director, received the 2016 Outstanding Service Award from the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Task Force on Nov. 17 at the Innovation Campus in Lincoln.

The award recognizes individuals or organizations that have demonstrated and sustained outstanding leadership and advocacy for entrepreneurship education and/or business development services in Nebraska.

10 things I have learned in my 10 years with the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project

1. Small business is BIG business in rural areas (90 percent of the businesses have 10 and fewer full-time employees).

2. Staff within REAP and its partner Rural Investment Corporation, a certified Community Development Financial Institution, are not afraid to take a good, hard look at what they are doing and evaluate if it is indeed what our market needs.

The week of the rural rockstars

With donations still coming in, suffice it to say that Giving Tuesday 2016 was the most successful online fundraiser in the Center for Rural Affair’s history. One hundred eight donors across the country raised $17,141 in one week. Thank you! Newman’s Own Foundation will match $10,000 and our friends at Small Farm Conservancy will match the rest.

We hit our original goal of $10,000 the day before Giving Tuesday, and were thrilled to learn that Small Farm Conservancy would match the money raised for the remainder of the fundraiser.

Community engagement is key in clean energy development

When a room fills with 30 people, many driving more than an hour to be there on a beautiful fall evening in the midst of football playoffs, one can assume there is an important matter at hand. This was the case during a recent community energy conversation hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs in Valentine, Neb. On the table was the opportunity for open and candid conversation surrounding the energy future of the county and the state.


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