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From the Desk of the Executive Director: Passage of tax bill puts rural priorities at risk

The tax bill secured final passage just as we went to press with our January/February newsletter. The Center opposed the bill and we called on Congress to return the bill to committee for further debate and deliberation. In our initial review of the bill, a few provisions give us pause, including:

Small business REAPs benefits by helping the environment in a stylish way

“What to wear?” is every woman’s daily dilemma, and a problem Refined Boutique and Reclaimed Brands, in North Platte, Nebraska, is able to solve.

In 2010, Missy Couse and her husband considered starting a business.

She asked him if it made a difference what they sold. His response was, “no.” However, when she mentioned a boutique, she could tell he was skeptical. He let her run with it.

Like most businesses, the boutique started out very small, in a side space of a salon, and expanded slowly.

Top 5 of 2017: From the desk of the executive director: New approach needed for small town housing

It's official! The first day of 2018 is here. What better way to kick it off than with a look at our most viewed post in 2017, authored by Brian Depew, our executive director.

This piece takes a look at a community development issue faced by many rural communities — housing. What do you do locally to address a lack of housing in your community? In our top post of 2017, Brian lists a few ideas.

From the desk of the executive director: New approach needed for small town housing

Housing in small towns would take care of itself, or so I used to believe.

Top 5 of 2017: Cora grew up in the middle of everywhere

Cora Fox, policy associate, joined our organization in May. In our second highest viewed post of 2017, Cora shares that she looks forward coming back to her roots to work with Midwestern farmers, and talks about growing up in rural Iowa. She works primarily on agricultural policy, and can answer questions on our farm bill work or anything regarding "Answering the Call: Veteran Farmers Conference" set for March 24, in Hastings, Nebraska. We are glad to have her on our team.

Top 5 of 2017: Dear Iowa lawmakers: Leopold Center deserves recognition and respect

Today, we share number three in our top five posts countdown, a letter sent to Iowa lawmakers. Last spring, lawmakers proposed a budget bill that would have eliminated the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. In the end, the governor vetoed the provision, allowing for the continued existence of the Leopold Center. The Center for Rural Affairs has worked alongside the Leopold Center on conservation and agriculture, and will continue those efforts.

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