Your Stories

The View from a School Kitchen

On October 13, Representative Jeff Fortenberry joined students at Norris Public Schools in Firth, Nebraska, to enjoy an apple tasting. This tasting featured apple varieties from Union Orchard in Union, Nebraska. The activity celebrated October as National Farm to School Month and Nebraska Farm to School Month, thanks to a proclamation by Governor Pete Ricketts in September.

Being Thankful for the Small Things

I don’t usually reflect much on the abundant amenities of where I live. Generally I take the wide open spaces, fresh air, breathtaking sunsets, and a million other things (all of which I deeply cherish) for granted.

But a recent post from Kelley Nuttle over at Rural Housewives, “Why I Love Western Kansas” reminded me of the many benefits that small town and rural living provide that are easy to overlook.

Rural Rockstar: Martin Kleinschmit is a Champion of Change

Nebraska farmer Martin Kleinschmit was among 12 people recognized as a Champion of Change for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Agriculture. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack welcomed them to a White House ceremony on Oct 26, 2015. Martin has been a pioneer with many of his efforts to help fellow farmers care for their land and make use of renewable energy.

Martin was a Center for Rural Affairs project specialist for 17 years. He worked on beginning farmer issues, soil conservation, organic farming, renewable energy, and grazing management.

Rural People and Rural Landscapes Intrigue

Rural people sell themselves short when it comes to the art and culture that exists in our communities. Too often we head to the city to take in our fill of culture.

Last year I visited a rural arts collective on the eastern plains of Colorado. They call themselves M12, and they’ve set up shop in an old feed store in the hardscrabble town of Byers.

Richard Saxton, founder of M12, uses his work to explore the compelling landscapes that surround us in rural places. The results lift up the fascinating stories that make up our small towns.

Farming Fits Veterans and Veterans Fit Farming

The Center for Rural Affairs has focused on beginning farmers since 1990, when we analyzed the changing age of farmers. In 2009 we noticed an increasing number of inquiries from military veterans about how to start farming, while asking what special help they could get.

The military veterans who sought our advice had the same needs as other new farmers: access to land, financing and information. But they also brought new issues: disabilities, returning to civilian life, a drive to help fellow veterans, a powerful sense of wanting to be of service to their country.