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 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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Center for Rural Affairs January and February 2019 newsletter

Note from the Editor

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 “PROGRESS that strengthens rural communities, small businesses, and family farms and ranches.”

In this edition, you will read about Latino farmer Justino Borja who is making progress toward his dream of owning land.

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Staff spotlight: Kate returns to the Heartland

When I was a kid, my mother always told me I was a “good mix of good things.” It was the kind of sweet phrase that someone tells a child to boost their confidence. Sometimes, she meant it to say I was a good mix of traits from both of my parents. Other times, she would use it to pick me up when I was down—like on the many occasions that I tried, and failed, at a new sport; “you’re a good mix of a lot of good things, this just isn’t one of them.”

Staff spotlight: Rural America is in Sandra’s past, present, and future

Sandra Renner has spent nearly five years focusing on a variety of work, all with one thing in common—assisting rural Nebraskans.

Newly appointed as the Farm and Community Program director for the Center for Rural Affairs, Sandra began as a project associate within that program, and has since immersed herself in everything from outreach and promotion to grant writing to project management surrounding food systems work.

In her new role, she plans to stay just as active in her quest to help better rural America.

Staff spotlight: Toni believes rural America grants opportunity

A native Nebraskan and lifelong northeast Nebraska resident, Toni Smeal relishes rural living.

Recently hired as grants manager for the Center for Rural Affairs, Toni now has the opportunity to not only love living rural, but she also works to protect the lifestyle she cares about so much.

After spending each day in Omaha for her former job, she’s happy to be able to enjoy the simple things rural living has to offer.