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Center for Rural Affairs March and April newsletter

This edition of our newsletter focuses on RESPONSIBILITY placed upon each of us to contribute to our community and society. Our responsibility lies in welcoming new Americans as they find success in their new home.

Our responsibilities continue with assisting beginning, veteran and socially-disadvantaged farmers gain access to land and information; encouraging renewable energy; urging developers to extend broadband internet into rural areas; and taking care of our water, acting as good stewards for future generations.

We also have a responsibility to vote, electing local, state and national officials; and we have a responsibility to keep those officials accountable to their constituents by letting them know about policies that we care about.

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We talk Farm Bill, crop insurance and more on Totally Rural Podcast

Totally Rural is a brand new podcast dedicated to increasing awareness and expanding the discussion of rural issues. The Center for Rural Affairs had the honor of appearing on its second podcast, talking about our organization, the 2018 Farm Bill, beginning farmers and more.

Brian Depew, executive director, and Anna Johnson, policy program associate, chatted with host Daisy Dyer Duerr, a former secondary school principal.

Small businesses are the backbone of rural communities

Small scale entrepreneurship is a proven strategy to revitalize rural communities. Owning one’s own business can create genuine opportunity across rural America with the support of a modest public investment.

The importance of entrepreneurship is particularly profound in the most rural areas. Our analysis of economic conditions in the farm and ranch counties of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas found that nearly 60 percent of job growth in the 1990s came from people creating their own job by starting a small non farm business.

Report examines federal conservation program

The Center for Rural Affairs recently released “Pathways to Land Access,” a report by Anna Johnson with support from Glen Ready. The paper is a study of the Conservation Reserve Program - Transition Incentives Program (CRP-TIP), administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA). 

In “Pathways to Land Access,” the authors investigate implementation of CRP-TIP in Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The program was created by the 2008 Farm Bill. 

Veteran farmer homesteads with a kick

Three years ago, Matt and Emely Hendl didn’t picture themselves as farmers.

They thought Emely would support their family with her government service job after Matt retired after 20 years in the U.S. Navy.

However, after changing their minds a few times, they decided to move their daughter, Annika, dog, cat and hamster, to the Platte River valley in Nebraska to pursue an altogether different venture: small-scale farming.

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