Your Stories

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?”

Life’s lessons learned on the farm

I had thought nothing of it when our conversation grew louder to compensate for the sound of my dad’s lawnmower starting. Occasionally Dad, when he wants to do something, will randomly get up and mow the area in which the activity is to take place. A few weeks ago, he had done the very same when he wanted to play bag toss (I refuse to call it corn hole), even though the area was not necessarily in need of mowing.

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