Small Towns

Rural communities hold the keys to survival in their own hands. With help from policies that build on their strengths as desirable places to live and raise families, they can thrive.

Community Development

To thrive, rural communities must invest in themselves and their futures, including rural schools and rural leaders.

Community Food Systems

Local farmers markets, community gardens, and local and regional food systems provide fresh, healthy food for all and keep money circulating in the local economy.

Rural Groceries

Small towns across rural America are losing their grocery stores, and we’re working to help groceries stay around.

Small Towns Notes


The Case for Small Schools

Our Small Schools series of articles began as a response to public statements about the need to eliminate small, rural schools. They said small schools are “inefficient,” and take away too many resources (i.e., public aid to education) from deserving larger schools.

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Being Thankful for the Small Things

I don’t usually reflect much on the abundant amenities of where I live. Generally I take the wide open spaces, fresh air, breathtaking sunsets, and a million other things (all of which I deeply cherish) for granted.

But a recent post from Kelley Nuttle over at Rural Housewives, “Why I Love Western Kansas” reminded me of the many benefits that small town and rural living provide that are easy to overlook.

Artfully Rural: Unveiling of Public Artworks in Northeastern Nebraska ⇒ Public Invited!

It'll be two exciting and artful days for two Northeast Nebraska communities in Burt County. Two separate public artworks will be unveiled on Sunday, November 1 in Decatur, and Monday, November 2 in Lyons. The projects, part of the Byway of Art project, are a collaborative effort by the Center for Rural Affairs, artist Matthew Mazzotta, and the communities. It was made possible by support from ArtPlace America.