Weekly Column

Protect our Prairies

Prairie and native grasslands are disappearing rapidly, taking soil and habitat as well as hunting, ranching and other economic opportunities with them. Congress should ensure that federal farm and crop insurance subsidies don’t exacerbate the loss of these vital natural resources.

Reclaiming our Pioneer Heritage

By Paul Hosford, Albion, Nebraska (distributed with permission from the Omaha World Herald)
By reclaiming the best of our pioneer heritage, by applying past lessons to the future, we can, like the original pioneers, make rural areas prosper. These ideas are as applicable now as when I first wrote them in 2010 (Omaha World Herald, Midlands Voices: Re-pioneering important to revitalizing rural areas, February 1, 2010)… perhaps even more so.

Opportunity on the Line

Tapping America’s vast wind resources requires a commitment to building high capacity transmission infrastructure. An improved electrical grid will create rural jobs in both transmission and wind industries, bring more wind energy online and help secure a clean energy future in regions rich in wind potential.

Don't Slash Investment in Small Town Nebraska

At the Center for Rural Affairs we’ve learned, from experience, that entrepreneurial development serves small town Nebraska better than other economic development strategies. Traditional industrial recruitment simply does not have the economic heft that entrepreneurs create in rural communities. Entrepreneurship adds jobs, raises incomes, creates wealth, and improves the quality of life of local citizens in myriad ways.

Small Loans, Big Help for Beginning Farmers

Small farmers, especially minority, socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers and ranchers often have trouble qualifying for small loans from banks or other lenders. But now, thanks to a new USDA loan program, beginning farmers and ranchers are eligible to apply for micro-loans of up to $35,000, designed to help bolster family-run farms and ranches and help disadvantaged individuals and military veterans seeking to start a farm or ranch.

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