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Staff Spotlight: Rock focuses on water and clean energy in Iowa

Katie Rock recently joined the Center for Rural Affairs, where her focus will be on water and clean energy issues in Iowa. She is based in our Nevada, Iowa, office.

“I’m excited to join the Center’s staff in Iowa. There is a lot at stake for rural communities when it comes to water and clean energy,” said Rock. “How Iowa handles these issues will leave a lasting legacy for families, communities and the land. I have a real passion for making sure rural areas have a voice on these issues and can benefit from new opportunities.”

Rural mental health care must not be overlooked

The challenges that try rural communities in nearly all aspects of health care – greater travel distances, fewer providers, heightened health concerns, lower incomes – also stand in the way of the delivery of behavioral and mental health care services. While there is not a greater prevalence of mental illness among rural residents, a significant disparity exists in access to mental health services and care for rural populations.

In the United States, there are nearly 4,900 areas with mental health professional shortages. Of these, nearly 54 percent are classified as rural.

Untapped economic opportunity in organic farming

Organic farming in Iowa is on the rise, and proving to be an important economic opportunity for small to mid-size farmers. This growing industry is significant for our state because it gives farmers an important and often untapped avenue to continue farming and make money. In a tough farm economy, strong and viable economic opportunities such as this are a valuable option for farms.

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