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Recent posts by Brian Depew

Corporate Farming Notes

Farmland owned by foreign interests on the rise

A recent report from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting revealed that foreign holdings of U.S. farmland doubled between 2004 and 2014. Foreign investors now control 27.3 million acres of farmland.

Among the leading foreign owners of domestic farmland is the Chinese firm Shuanghui. The same firm purchased pork giant Smithfield Foods in 2013. Shuanghui owns more than 146,000 acres of farmland in the U.S.

Center for Rural Affairs commits to equity and inclusion for all residents of rural America

Amidst the turbulent political times for immigrants in our country, the Center for Rural Affairs reiterates its commitment to advancing a set of values that reflects the best of rural America. Among those values are responsibility placed upon each of us to contribute to our community and society, genuine opportunity for all to earn a living, raise a family, and prosper in a rural place, and fairness that allows all who contribute to the nation’s prosperity to share in it.

From the desk of the executive director: New approach needed for small town housing

Housing in small towns would take care of itself, or so I used to believe.

If we could get employment, education, health care, and quality of life right, the market would surely solve housing. In many rural areas, I figured, decades of population decline left more housing stock than people. Certainly a lack of houses wasn’t stopping people from moving to our small town.

I was wrong.

The president, rural voters and our future

In last fall’s election, enough rural voters switched party allegiance to account for Trump’s victory in several key Midwest and Rust Belt states.

Frustration over the economic plight facing their communities drove many of these voters.

Modern day Great Plains was built by settlers seeking economic and political independence. The region is built on widespread opportunity and the notion that hard work and dedication are all you need to get ahead.

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