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Latest in Rural America

Upswing in direct purchasing brings challenges for small meat processors

One of the great benefits of living in a rural community is our ability to enjoy food grown locally. Families appreciate easy access to high quality nutrition. Many farms and ranches depend on these local sales. 

Like so much of our daily life, this system was disrupted by COVID-19. When work is interrupted at industrial processing facilities, commodity producers flood local meat lockers with their product. With already limited reservation space being taken up by large growers, those who depend on direct-to-consumer sales were left out.

From the desk of the executive director: a call to community responsibility

Community responsibility is an often cited virtue in small towns. It is a value rooted in a commitment to neighbor and community. We witnessed it in barn raisings of past generations and in volunteer fire departments of today.

Rural people pull together for community, often across political differences. We pull together because something needs to get done. We pull together because we have to be able to count on each other in small towns.

Staff spotlight: Halle helps develop business dreams in southeast Nebraska

Recently a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Halle Ramsey is off and running in her new career with the Center for Rural Affairs.

As a business development specialist, Halle coordinates one-on-one consultations and virtual webinars that provide knowledge, support, tools, resources, and accountability to entrepreneurs on a variety of business topics including start-up assistance, financial awareness, marketing and sales, and management.

These responsibilities are exactly what Halle hoped she’d find in her new role.

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