Weekly Column

Rural and Small Town Leaders should urge NPPD wind investment

This week, the Center for Rural Affairs is circulating a letter among rural community leaders, urging the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) to make investments in rural and small town Nebraska’s energy future by purchasing locally produced wind power at today’s historically low rates.

USDA Data Shows Need For National Sodsaver Provision

Recent USDA data finds that, in 2012 alone, nearly 400,000 acres of grassland and other newly broken land were converted to cropland nationally. Nebraska led the way with over 54,000 acres of new land broken out for cropland.

Analysis from the Center for Rural Affairs of the Farm Service Agency data, collected for the first time in 2012, reveals the importance of including a national Sodsaver provision in the Farm Bill that would help address the significant loss of grasslands by ratcheting down subsidized crop insurance on cropland converted from native prairie.

Oil and Water Don't Mix

The Keystone XL pipeline threatens natural resources that rural folks depend on. The pipeline is not in the best interest of America’s small towns or those that depend upon agriculture for their livelihood.

Questions about the Wilds of the Affordable Care Act

With another provision of the Affordable Care Act being implemented - new healthcare marketplaces, or “exchanges” are set to come online October 1st - we’ve been hearing many questions. For example...

 

Are families who can’t afford the employer provided health insurance eligible for subsidies through the new health insurance marketplace?

Rural Areas Lacking Dentists

Rural America has too few dentists, and some counties have no dental services at all. A recent University of Nebraska Medical Center study that focused on that state reflects a problem found across rural America. Further complicating the shortage of dental care is the fact that many dentists in rural areas are nearing retirement.

The exodus of soon to retire dentists from rural practice will further accelerate the situation. Sadly, too few dentists are being educated to replace them. Even fewer are trained to handle unique, rural dental challenges.

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