Weekly Column

Farmers markets increase access to fresh food

There is nothing better than slicing up a ripe garden tomato fresh off the vine. However, some may not have the means to grow fresh vegetables in their backyards.

At the Center for Rural Affairs, we work with rural communities to build healthy, sustainable, local food systems. That includes supporting farmers markets.

Farmers markets expand access to fresh, healthy food in communities that need it most. They provide affordable, competitive prices for low-income families, and many accept food vouchers.

Provide for cover crops in insurance guide

Farmers manage crops, maintain equipment, and market products, often while balancing a second job and family demands.

Adding a dispute with a crop insurance company is the last thing farmers need.

Kevin Glanz, a farmer near Manchester, Iowa, has planted cover crops for five years. Cover crops are usually grasses or legumes planted between crop rotations to suppress weeds, manage soil erosion, and help soil quality.

Medicaid cuts hurt rural seniors and rural communities

Tucked within the text of both the House and Senate’s bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is language which seeks to fundamentally change the Medicaid program. While the enactment of this legislation is unknown, the principle remains, and rural seniors would be hurt.

For rural states and regions that already encounter the health care challenges of an older, poorer and less healthy population, Medicaid allows access to care to remain for even those who are not enrolled under the entitlement.   

New transmission connects renewable energy

Midwestern states have great potential to generate energy from renewable sources. Renewable energy provides these states with clean power as well as several other benefits in the form of new sources of income for landowners that host projects or job opportunities stemming from construction, operation, and manufacturing. But, these new power generators require connections to the larger electric grid, which allow the renewable energy to be shipped across the region where it can be used by homes and businesses.

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