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Challenges that Shaped the Center’s Character

It’s Throwback Thursday (#tbt). Here's an article by Center Co-founder Marty Strange for a special 25th Anniversary Edition of the Center for Rural Affairs Newsletter.

What happens when you speak truth to power, which has been the Center’s habit over the years? You get whooped a lot. And you learn a lot. In 23 years with the Center, and since, I’ve had plenty of occasion to reflect on the challenges that have shaped the Center’s character. Here are a few thoughts about the lessons we’ve learned from facing those challenges. 

Standing in the Breach against Corporate Farming

North Dakota was among the first states to prohibit corporate farming in 1932. Nebraska was among the last, when, by a 1982 vote of the people, the state enacted Initiative 300, a constitutional amendment against corporate farming.

During the 50 years between North Dakota’s corporate farming law and Nebraska’s Initiative 300, most Midwest and Great Plains farm and ranch states passed similar anti-corporate farming laws.

Pesticide Use and Depression in Farmers

Organic farming may be as important to the farmers who practice it as to those who purchase and eat the food they grow. This year, researchers with the National Institute of Health completed a landmark, 20-year study of the connection between pesticides and depression in farmers.
 

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