Clearing the Regulatory Waters

After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

Communities Strengthened through Business to Business Connections

New immigrants have started new businesses throughout the country. However, in small towns with growing new immigrant populations, we found that few long-time residents patronize these new businesses. And few new immigrants patronize long-time residents’ businesses. It seems like a missed opportunity.

Language barriers or the fear of not being welcome are often causes. How can you break through that barrier? We asked that question in two small towns recently. Part of the answer seems to be in developing inclusive “Business to Business” tours.

A Bright Future for Agriculture

The 2012 Census of Agriculture’s preliminary report provides a glimpse of farm data from across the country, and it holds some promising signs.  Our home state of Nebraska is illustrative. The numbers show what could be happening countrywide with the right policies and programs in place.

Corporate Farming: Another David vs. Goliath Tale

Last February, the Agriculture Committee of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature heard public testimony on LB 942. This bill would repeal the prohibition on meatpacker ownership of hogs in Nebraska.

The hearing lasted well into the evening, with opponents outnumbering proponents nearly 10 to one. The Center for Rural Affairs, Nebraska Farmers Union, Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska, and approximately 50 family farmers, ranchers, and small town Nebraskans appeared to voice opposition to the bill.


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