News

We talk Farm Bill, crop insurance and more on Totally Rural Podcast

Totally Rural is a brand new podcast dedicated to increasing awareness and expanding the discussion of rural issues. The Center for Rural Affairs had the honor of appearing on its second podcast, talking about our organization, the 2018 Farm Bill, beginning farmers and more.

Brian Depew, executive director, and Anna Johnson, policy program associate, chatted with host Daisy Dyer Duerr, a former secondary school principal.

Small businesses are the backbone of rural communities

Small scale entrepreneurship is a proven strategy to revitalize rural communities. Owning one’s own business can create genuine opportunity across rural America with the support of a modest public investment.

The importance of entrepreneurship is particularly profound in the most rural areas. Our analysis of economic conditions in the farm and ranch counties of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas found that nearly 60 percent of job growth in the 1990s came from people creating their own job by starting a small non farm business.

Why does Nebraska’s current tax debate matter?

Nebraskans are left to sit upon an unbalanced three-legged tax stool.

The property tax leg is too long, representing more than 35 percent of the state’s tax revenues. The income tax leg of the stool is too short, reflecting 27 percent of state revenue. Sales tax accounts for 30 percent and the remaining 8 percent comes from other sources.

Proposals before the Legislature seek to shift this balance, but in a manner that could leave middle and low-income Nebraskans with access to fewer services while shouldering a greater percentage of the tax burden.

Report examines federal conservation program

The Center for Rural Affairs recently released “Pathways to Land Access,” a report by Anna Johnson with support from Glen Ready. The paper is a study of the Conservation Reserve Program - Transition Incentives Program (CRP-TIP), administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA). 

In “Pathways to Land Access,” the authors investigate implementation of CRP-TIP in Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The program was created by the 2008 Farm Bill. 

Dear Iowa lawmakers: Leopold Center deserves recognition and respect

Dear Gov. Bransted, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, and Iowa lawmakers,

We, the undersigned, oppose any proposal to eliminate funding and authority for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. While the work of the Leopold Center is focused in Iowa, it has long been a leader in sustainable agriculture research and serves as an inspiration to sustainable agriculture work nationwide.

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