News

Federal Budget a Mixed Bag for Rural Priorities

The discussion on federal spending begins each year with release of the president’s budget. This year, there is both good and bad news for small towns and rural communities.

Let’s start with the bad news, because it’s on the important topic of conservation. The president proposes to cut conservation program spending by $859 million. Over half of that would come from cutting three million acres, or $486 million, from the Conservation Stewardship Program.

Celebrating Rural Life and Building the Economy Business by Business

At the end of 2014, I traveled to Brookings, South Dakota, to visit friends. As we were eating, a couple seated at our table began to complain about rural living. I don’t remember if I used to be as passionate about rural communities as I am today. Nowadays I can’t keep my mouth shut. I started highlighting all the positive things of living in smaller communities.

4 Gifs for Rural America

To me, Rural America is many things. It is at once harsh and exciting. Quiet, and also full of the sounds one simply can’t hear in a city. It’s a space to cultivate community, carve out a good life, and set down roots. To be bowled over by a storm. Its a space that offers itself to your imagination, and, if you pay attention, imparts the wisdom and wonder of growing things.

Time is Running Out To Sign-Up for CSP

Time is running out for farmers and ranchers that want to participate in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) this year. February 27th was the deadline for the 2015 round, but an extension to March 13 was just announced. Producers should visit their local NRCS office before that date to initiate the application process.

Small Rural School Builds Positive Leaders Using Farm to School

Here in Lyons, the Center’s hometown, a mentorship program at the local school is turning students into positive leaders. New principal Derek Lahm calls it “Empower Your Genius.”

Twice a month, the entire school, grades K-12 - approximately 250 students, is dismissed from class at 2 pm. Elementary, junior-high, and high school students pair up for the mentorship activity.

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