About the Center for Rural Affairs News

MarketPlace: Small Conference, Big Results

Whether you are a farmer, rancher, small business owner, or a community developer, you have a million irons in the fire every day. And you probably aspire to improve your bottom line, expand the business and move business plans forward.

Or perhaps you are not a business owner or a farmer/rancher yet, but would like to set out and start a business of your own, but don’t know where to start.

No matter what category you fit into, you most likely have many questions.

Small Town Advocate Beginning at Age 10

I am honored and excited to be the new Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs. I owe much to all of you - great supporters, our staff, board, allies, and those who came before. Because of you the Center rests on a rock-solid reputation and a track record of success.

You might wonder how I came to be at the Center. It all began the summer I turned 10. That summer we visited the family farm in Iowa. My grandparents had recently retired and moved to town. We were scouting the farm, and I was lobbying to move there from halfway across the country.

Tending, Working, Helping to Build Stronger Rural Communities

I grew up on an acreage three miles out of Howells, Nebraska. We had 12 acres where we raised a small herd of Angus show cattle, custom fed 500 head of hogs, and raised hundreds of chickens. Mom’s annual garden and our fruit trees provided a delicious bounty every summer.

The oldest of four kids, I helped as much as I could. Pictures of my sister and I helping feed the chickens when we were as young as 3 and 4 years old still hang on my parent’s wall.


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