About the Center for Rural Affairs News

Longneckers recognized as Entrepreneurs of the Year

Service is the number one priority at Odiss Enterprises, LLC, owned by Mary Jo and Don Longnecker in Indianola, Neb.

That mantra is one of the reasons the Center for Rural Affairs chose Mary Jo and Don as the 2016 Entrepreneurs of the Year. They were recognized at an award ceremony on March 10 in York, Neb. The couple was unable to attend, so they received the award last month at the Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities Conference in McCook.

Remembering Jeff Reynolds

It is with a heavy heart that I write to share the news that Jeff Reynolds passed away unexpectedly on April 20, 2017. Jeff directed the Center's small business development program, the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project, or REAP, as it is widely known in Nebraska. He was a veteran staff member, having worked for the Center since 1994.

We will miss his dedication, his good spirit, his can-do attitude, and his uplifting presence.

Center comments on Farmer Fair Practice Rules

The Center for Rural Affairs has been engaged in supporting rural communities for over forty years, and we have many longstanding farmer and rancher supporters. We know that independent livestock and poultry producers play an important role in rural economies. We see the lack of economic opportunity for smaller livestock and poultry operations as posing major economic, environmental, and health problems for all of America, and particularly for rural America.

We applaud the positive impact that these rules will have for the poultry, hog, and cattle industries, and our supporters are particularly concerned with the positive impact it will have on the hog industry. 

New Year’s resolution: be more efficient and increase capacity

The New Year’s resolution is a common tradition around the world. In the new year, many of us look to our past experiences and strive to better ourselves.

The Latino Business Center is coming into the new year following a very successful 2016. In the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, we placed 22 loans to Latino business owners totaling $342,100. We trained 214 individuals through workshops and roundtables across the state, and provided counseling to 94 clients on 394 occasions. That’s a lot of holiday season cheer.

Dear Mr. President: keep rural America a priority

Dear Mr. President: 

As organizations representing rural America, we look forward to working with your Administration in the coming years to help ensure that all Americans face a brighter future. We also look forward to having Governor Perdue at the helm of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), working on behalf of rural America. 

As you witnessed first-hand during the campaign, the issues facing rural America are no less significant than those facing urban parts of the country, but can more easily be overlooked because America’s small towns and rural areas make up just 15 percent of the nation’s population. 

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