Center for Rural Affairs November and December 2016 Newsletter

Note from the Editor:

Since its inception, the Center for Rural Affairs has chosen to advance a set of values that reflect the best of rural America.

This month’s newsletter focuses on “CONSCIENCE that balances self-interest with an obligation to the common good and future generations.”

Throughout this edition, you will see this value in action: in Aida Olivas who selflessly gives to provide a future for fellow new Americans; in our stand against mega-mergers in the agricultural input market; in our efforts to improve the health care system and achieve balanced tax reform; and in the almost $2 million we’ve loaned to small businesses in the last year.

We see this value in our ongoing efforts on crop insurance reform that focuses on the viability of family farms, health of rural communities, production of healthy food and stewardship of clean water. And finally, this value is found in our executive director’s essay as he tells us about the Center’s work.

Inside this Issue:

Statement on proposed Bayer-Monsanto merger: The proposed merger between German based pharmaceutical and chemical giant Bayer and U.S. based seed giant Monsanto would create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and agricultural chemicals.

The radical center: From the Desk of the Executive Director. Has the political center become the most radical place to work? In this time of piqued partisan rhetoric, it may be.

Because of people like Aida, the American dream is still alive: There are people like Aida Olivas in every community. Aida is one who goes above and beyond their civic duty to make their home a better place for everyone.

Kansas, a cautionary tale for others: State governments across the nation are looking to cut income tax rates. We are paying close attention to legislators in Nebraska who are publicly discussing their plans.

What is crop insurance, really?: A lot of you want to see more family farms and ranches and more businesses in our rural communities. You also care about healthy food and clean water. Guess what? Crop insurance has everything to do with the viability of family farms, the health of rural communities, production of healthy food and stewardship of clean water.

Small businesses loaned $1.7 million: We just had a record-setting year for Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project. In 2016, we placed over $1.7 million in loans and reached significant numbers of women and Latino entrepreneurs across Nebraska.

Stuck in the gap: More than 2.6 million Americans are unable to access health insurance: Meet Blair Nelson. She recently went to the doctor for a physical and was forced to pay out of pocket, which took away money she had already allocated for other household bills.

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