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Community engagement is key in clean energy development

When a room fills with 30 people, many driving more than an hour to be there on a beautiful fall evening in the midst of football playoffs, one can assume there is an important matter at hand. This was the case during a recent community energy conversation hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs in Valentine, Neb. On the table was the opportunity for open and candid conversation surrounding the energy future of the county and the state.

Bringing harvest into the classroom

Iowa farmers are in the midst of harvest season, but many are pausing to share the fruits of their labor with local kids. October is Farm to School Month, and activities and events around the state are educating students about eating healthy foods.

Ellen Walsh Rosemann, who owns Farm Table Procurement and Delivery in Harlan, a food hub that distributes and transports food grown around Iowa to schools, said that when kids know where their food comes from, they are more likely to become better educated as consumers.

Biologically diverse ranch requires a conservation mindset

Located near the headwaters of the Elkhorn River, the Stewart Hereford Ranch sits on 13,000 acres in the Sandhills outside of Newport, Neb. The ranch is owned by Roy and June Stewart and their son and daughter-in-law, Jay and Kaye Stewart, who also manage the operation.

The ranch includes a biologically diverse mix of sub-irrigated meadows and sandhill pastures, which require a conservation mindset, according to its owners.

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.

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