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A Perspective from Mexico: La Milpa Maya

I recently returned from two weeks of vacation in the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Although it was tempting to spend that time laying on the beach - something we lack here in Lyons - I was there to participate in the 13th annual International Agroecology Short-course.

In a small university town in Quintana Roo, graduate students and professionals from all parts of the western hemisphere converged to discuss food and farming systems, their ecological and cultural functions, and challenges to sustainability.

Tax Plan not Common Sense for Nebraska

On Friday, Governor Dave Heineman delivered the details of his proposed tax plan at a press conference in Lincoln. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we believe that Nebraska should be cautious about dramatic shifts in tax policy. We are concerned that this proposal will hinder the state’s ability to invest in building a better future for all Nebraskans.

Conservation Gets Kicked to the Curb

On January 1, Congress passed the fiscal cliff legislation that included a nine-month extension of the farm bill that slashes investment in the future of family farms, ranches and small town America.

However, the fiscal cliff farm bill extension failed to fix a mistake included in spending legislation back in the beginning of October that prevented USDA from conducting a 2013 farmer and rancher sign-up for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

The Health Care Tales of Two Businesses

In November, I had an opportunity to travel to Montana. There, former intern Matt Gunther and I embarked on a “storytelling road trip.” We traveled the requisite long distances in this majority-rural state to talk with and listen to people. Health care was a hot topic that we discussed from living room to living room, over coffee, and in the middle of the pasture. Over and over, people laid out their lives and their hopes for reform.

Farm Bill Extension Debacle

In the waning hours of 2012, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Vice President Joe Biden negotiated a nine-month extension of the Farm Bill. The extension, which was attached to the fiscal cliff legislation passed by Congress on January 1, slashes investment in the future of family farms, ranches and rural small towns.

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