Your Stories

Improving food systems, enhancing lives

Sharon Freemont sits on a stool in the evening, weeding the garden. Sometimes her three grandchildren join her.

The garden is surrounded by high grass, and beyond that, fields, shaded in the evening by a lone tree.

“It’s nice in the evening, I sit, relax and meditate,” Sharon said. “We sit and look at what we’ve done, it’s something we did all by ourselves.”

The family has a small garden at their home three miles outside of Walthill, Neb., on the Omaha Reservation.

Beginning farmer grows organic and sheep operation

Justin Doerr left the Army after serving overseas and knew he wanted to farm for his civilian career. He is big on planning, so he attended farm tours and webinars across three states to prepare for launching his farm business. He eased back into sheep production, using facilities his parents had vacated while Justin was in the service. Since his youth was spent following his father's direction on farm tasks rather than making his own farm decisions, Justin wanted to share the risk in his startup year of crop production.

Local food trucks dish out a rumble

Tacos vs. smoked ribs. Frozen treats vs. salads. 

Hundreds flocked to downtown Norfolk, Neb., on a warm Friday evening in late July for a taste of local food and local music. 

The focus? Food Truck Rumble. 

The goal? Sample until you were stuffed, then vote on your favorite cuisine. At least, that’s what our goal was. 

Seven food trucks, each an individual small business from the area, competed in the rumble. And, some of the businesses have worked with the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP). 

Illinois landowner and school district benefit from wind energy

Their farmhouse door was one of many that Horizon Energy Services staff members knocked on when they went door-to-door asking if anyone would be interested in a wind farm in McLean County, Illinois.

The landowners were not sure what to think about the idea, so they attended meetings hosted by Horizon to provide information to the community. They, like many other rural citizens, were wondering “What is in it for us?”

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