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Municipal electric utilities can be independent

When it comes to rural development, the town of Bloomfield, in southeast Iowa, is holding its own, and can act as a model for other municipal electric utilities.

A 2014 study concluded Bloomfield (population 2,643) could become energy independent in its use of electricity by 2030. The city council is now pursuing a combination of efficiency upgrades and investments in clean, renewable energy.

Value-Added Producer Grant funds available

At Robinette Farms, funds from the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program help pay for processing, marketing, distribution, and sales of pasture-raised chickens, eggs, and microgreens.

This year, $18 million in funding is available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) VAPG program. Paper applications are due Jan. 31, 2018, and electronic applications through www.grants.gov are due Jan. 24.

27 Iowa farmers sign farm bill letter

Twenty-seven Iowa farmers, in support of conservation and crop insurance practices in the 2018 farm bill, signed and sent a letter to Iowa Congressional Representatives in October. Would you like to get involved in advocating for change in the farm bill? Reach out to Anna today at 515.215.1294, or annaj@cfra.org.

Oct. 9, 2017

Dear Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, and Reps. Steve King, Dave Loebsack, David Young, and Rod Blum,

Latino businesses are the highlight of a walking tour

Latino entrepreneurs in Grand Island are proud of their businesses, and, in an effort to attract non-Latino customers, invited the public to a recent walking tour.

The Grand Island Latino Businesses Walking Tour was held Friday, Oct. 20, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The event was organized by the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP) and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

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