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 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

 

Poverty on the Great Plains

This is the third in a series of briefs examining data from the 2010 Census. Since the 1980 Census, the Center for Rural Affairs has analyzed Census data for a multi-state region. For the 2010 Census analysis, selected counties in Colorado, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming have been added to obtain a broader view.

Download a copy of the report as a pdf below.

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Rural Electric Co-ops Can Renew Community Spirit

I tore a page out of my rural electric co-op newsletter last fall. It is pinned it to my wall. I read it every day. It says, “Electric co-ops were constructed with lines, poles, and the foolhardy notion that we all prosper by helping each other.”

It’s so true. The co-operative spirit that brought electric service to rural America represents the community-driven values of small towns – values the Center works to uphold today.

We Are Rural: Reflecting on 40 Years

The Center for Rural Affairs turned 40 years old this year. Think about that for a minute.

When Marty Strange and Don Ralston first threw open the doors 40 years ago, it was anyone’s guess if the scrappy organization on main street in a town of 800 would make it for one year.

It didn’t take long before rural people were flocking in from across the state.

They came to early Center gatherings. They had heard about a new organization located in the heart of rural America with a mission to lift up everyday rural people. An organization with a belief in a better future.

Explore the Fantastic on Nebraska’s Scenic Byways

You’ve probably seen a Nebraska Byway sign if you’ve traveled around the state. Think of it as a shout-out to you, bragging about the highway’s great features!

A byway designation means you’re among scenic, historic, recreational, cultural, archeological, or other natural features that are unique, irreplaceable, or distinctly characteristic of an area. That’s a lot of appeal, and a great way to show off some history!