News

Virtual Leader Development Program Goes Rural

Leaders are the life-blood of small towns and rural communities. The success or failure of community development efforts often rests with the degree of leadership local citizens are willing to provide. You can see our 4-part series on leadership here.

Now our colleagues at The University of Nebraska Omaha have asked us to share a new rural leadership program with you. Several of our Farm and Community team are participating, so you will be in good company! Their description of the program follows.

Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-ups Open

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced this year’s deadline for producer applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is March 31.

March 31 is also the deadline by which initial applications are needed from farmers with expiring 2012-2016 contracts if they want to renew them for another five years. Some 12 million acres already in the program are eligible for renewal this year.

100 Years of Anti-Corporate Farming Laws

Thanks to the folks at the Organic Consumers Association for reminding us of this article on the importance of anti-corporate farming laws. It has new resonance in light of  the recent decision by the Nebraska legislature to allow meatpackers to own hogs prior to slaughter (LB 176). I offer it as a #tbt look back into our archives on this essential issue.

Who grows our nation’s food and how they grow it continues to gain new national prominence. Now more than ever, there is a national interest in building an agricultural system that benefits family farms and rural communities, and a system that is not controlled by large, corporate interests.

This effort to limit corporate control of our farming system has deep roots in the Midwest, where nine states have passed laws restricting corporate farming over the last 100 years. Oklahoma has the oldest corporate farming law in the nation. Originally embedded in the state constitution in 1907, the provision prohibited all corporate ownership in agricultural production.

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