Your Stories

Gardens keep Santee Sioux traditions alive

About two hours west of Sioux City, Iowa, we dropped by the Santee Sioux Reservation to tag along with LeAnn Red Owl while she visits gardens throughout the community.

In the summer of 2016, LeAnn was one of the Center for Rural Affairs community food specialists who worked alongside members of the Santee Sioux and Omaha Tribes to improve access to fresh, nutritious food grown in their own communities, often in their own backyards.

The Let’s Talk Tour comes to Johnson Farms

In early September, we launched the Let’s Talk Tour - a series of conversations across eastern South Dakota that we organized - to hear from rural and small town folks about climate, soil and water conservation, and issues related to the region’s energy future. And we talked, but perhaps more importantly, we listened.

The complexity of agriculture guided Anna to the Center

I grew up in the mid-size town of Annapolis, Md. The similarities to rural life were few. I was outside early every morning, but it was to catch the school bus because my high school of 1,100 kids started at 7:17 a.m. We went swimming in the local creek in the summer, but it was in the calm spot between two well-trafficked bridges. So how, after a childhood primarily filled with reading indoors, did I come to love rural places and decide to work at the Center for Rural Affairs?

Near miss serves as a farm safety reminder

It was a cool summer morning. I had been given the chore of stacking 13 or so big round bales that were in the small alfalfa field on my parents’ acreage. I was driving an old Allis Chalmers D17 with forks on a Westendorf loader in front, and rear forks as well.

I was traveling downhill with a bale on the front forks and nothing on the back when suddenly something didn’t feel right. I looked over my right shoulder just in time to see my rear wheel was about three feet off the ground and rising. I had loaded the tractor wrong, and a rollover was imminent.