About the Center for Rural Affairs

We are unapologetically rural. We stand up for the small family farmer and rancher, new business owner, and rural communities.

For more than 40 years, we've been a leading force engaging people to build a better rural future. We live this work. Welcome to our rural revolution.

Join our newsletter list to learn about what's happening in rural America and at the Center!

We have offices in three main locations: Lyons, Nebraska, at 145 Main St., PO Box 136; Nevada, Iowa, at 1400 Fawcett Parkway, Suite D2; and Hartington, Nebraska, at 106 N. Broadway, PO Box 736; as well as in-home offices throughout Nebraska.

It Starts...

We breathed fire and ran on unrefined youthful energy. It was 1973. Our founders, Don Ralston and Marty Strange, captured our early history here (recommended reading!).

We knew that if we wanted federal policy to work for rural Americans, we had to raise our voice. So we opened shop in an old storefront in rural Nebraska and put nose-to-grindstone. We grew a rural grassroots community. We spoke up about corporate wrongs against family farmers. We took rural voices to Washington. 

We believed we would succeed. It was hard work, but our passion kept us standing strong for rural Americans. And now, we’re over 30,000 and growing across the nation. We’re proud of our track record of successes. See a timeline with some of our major accomplishments here.

As long as rural advocates are needed for health care, clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and community development, you can bet we’ll be in the front lines, building a bright rural future.

Make yourself at home and take look around! We look forward to working with you for rural Americans. 

                     

About the Center for Rural Affairs Notes

 

Center for Rural Affairs September and October 2019 newsletter

My favorite part of this job isn’t the cake we get for birthdays, although that is a pretty neat perk.

I absolutely love visiting with you—our donors, event and program participants, small business loan recipients, board members, and everyday, rural people.

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Center for Rural Affairs March and April 2019 newsletter

Since its inception, the Center for Rural Affairs has chosen to advance a set of values that reflect the best of rural America. This month’s newsletter focuses on “Widespread OWNERSHIP and CONTROL of small businesses, farms, and ranches by those who work them.”

In this edition, you will read about Ruth Chantry who has co-run a certified organic farm for 22 growing seasons, demonstrating hard work on land she owns.

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Staff Spotlight: Policy is personal for Jordan

As policy manager with the Center for Rural Affairs, advocating on behalf of rural families hits close to home for Jordan Rasmussen.

“To many people, policy work may seem wonky and distanced from humanity, but for me, policy is personal,” said Jordan. “Behind each policy area that I work on is a family member, a friend, a rural Nebraskan whose quality of life is impacted by the legislation we advocate for.”

Staff spotlight: True spirit of hard work, helping others can be seen in rural communities

Growing up, there was always something going on in my neighborhood.

Whether it was school or family events or everyday activities, life was never boring. The children in our neighborhood made sure of that. In the summer, we’d ride our bikes, form teams to play baseball, football, and other games, or play hide-and-seek well into the evening. We always found a way to entertain ourselves until our parents yelled for us to come home for the night.

Center staff member recognized for work in clean energy

Each year, Midwest Energy News acknowledges leaders who are based in the Midwest. These men and women are innovators from all sectors, including industry, government, regulatory, business, academia, nonprofit, and advocacy.

The 40 Under 40 awards program showcases emerging leaders throughout the region, and highlights their work in America’s transition to a clean energy economy.

This year, the Center for Rural Affairs was represented by one of its own. Policy Associate Lu Nelsen was named one of the recipients of the 2019 Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 Award.