Board Members

Our dedicated board drives forward our Center for Rural Affairs mission and values. Members meet quarterly and regularly provide support to staff.

About the Boards

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors consists of between 12 and 24 members that govern the Center. Members of the board serve staggered three-year terms. The board determines policy and overall direction of the organization at quarterly meetings.

An executive committee consisting of the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and two members elected by the board meets in conjunction with regular board meetings. In addition, the board establishes oversight committees to counsel staff on the implementation of the Center’s various programs.

About one-half of the board is farmers or ranchers. Others are small town business and working people including a small number of urban members with a strong interest in rural improvement. The board is self-selecting, and has made it a policy to provide the organization with a broad leadership base. Accordingly, it has recruited men and women from all regions of the state and people with diverse occupational backgrounds and personal perspectives.

The board has been conscious of the need to provide both continuity and new insight, and thus the bylaws require at least one new director be added annually. Director Emeritus status was established in 1990. We have three Emeritus directors at present.

The board plays an active role in the development of Center programs. Each board member serves on one of three program advisory committees that provide quarterly oversight of program activities and guide the annual planning process. Directors also serve on at least one of the institutional committees that discuss finance, nominations, media and communications, development, engagement, and constituency building.

Advisory Committee

Center for Rural Affairs Advisory Committee members are recruited for their special backgrounds and insight into our program areas. They meet quarterly with the Board of Directors and Center staff. 

Rural Investment Corporation

The Rural Investment Corporation is a subsidiary of the Center for Rural Affairs. The Rural Investment Corporation is a certified Community Development Financial Institution, or CDFI, dedicated to serving low-income individuals and communities that lack access to financial services from mainstream financial institutions. CDFIs offer loans for small and micro-sized businesses and provide services such as business planning and one-on-one counseling.

The Rural Investment Corporation Board of Directors, all volunteers, are chosen by the Center for Rural Affairs Board of Directors. Thus, the Center has full authority over the Rural Investment Corporation.

Granary Foundation Board

The Granary Foundation was created by the Center for Rural Affairs to serve the financial needs of the Center. It is a "support corporation," with the sole purpose of benefiting the Center for Rural Affairs.

The Granary Board of Directors has fiduciary responsibility for the Granary Endowment Fund. The Board of Directors, all volunteers, are chosen by the Center for Rural Affairs' Board of Directors. Thus, the Center has full authority over the Granary Foundation.

Valparaiso, Nebraska
Krista Dittman is president of the Board of Directors and a member of the Rural Investment Corporation Board.
Ogallala, Nebraska
Being with everyone on the Board and discussing the various issues is invigorating. My wife always says I come home from meetings with enthusiasm. The Board is like family.
Red Cloud, Nebraska
After retiring from a career in education that took me all around the world, then settling in Red Cloud, Nebraska, I found the Center for Rural Affairs through a good friend.
Omaha, Nebraska
As a small-town bank manager early in my career, I found the Center’s rural community development programs to be impressive and spent time learning about the organization and getting to know the staff.
Ceresco, Nebraska
All my life, I have been engaged in rural community development, and to be part of an organization whose sole mission is to lift up and enable citizens and communities to thrive is dear to my heart.
Kearney, Nebraska
The Center is helping small family farms be competitive and rural communities be a viable part of the conversation. Their work has always maintained focus on rural economic development and small business entrepreneurship.
Shell Rock, Iowa
The time I have lived and worked in rural communities convinces me that these people are well worth the effort and talent the Center devotes to their lives.
Papillion, Nebraska
Greg Fripp is a member of the Board of Directors.
Wahoo, Nebraska
I have a particular fondness for the impact of the Center’s ability to offer business and residential loans to underserved rural, immigrant, and Native American people. Our target market is different from a typical bank, but our goal is the same.
Walthill, Nebraska
Rural America is vastly different than it was in the early 1990s, but one constant has been the Center for Rural Affairs’ core values. They have been upheld and have remained strong since their inception.
Beatrice, Nebraska
I hope more young people will develop an interest in the work and help the Center continue to grow, expanding its visibility and providing more opportunities to more people.
Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska
Since learning about the Center’s mission, I’ve been a full supporter, and I am grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the Board of a nonprofit that truly cares for the future of rural America since March 2020.
Columbus, Nebraska
To me, the mission of the Center means that our rural communities are moving forward—taking the lead, with guidance from the Center, on the values that mean most to them.
Hastings, Nebraska
My relationship with the Center started when I attended a Center-sponsored event in Hastings, Nebraska, where I live. That chance meeting led to joining the Board in 1995, and proudly serving since.
Bloomfield, Nebraska
Jane Yule is a member of the Board of Directors.
Pacific Grove, California
Gary Peterson is president of the Granary Board.
Mead, Nebraska
Mark Gustafson is secretary/treasurer of the Granary Board.
Lincoln, Nebraska
Becky Gould is a member of the Granary Board.
Omaha, Nebraska
Susan Baumert is treasurer of the Rural Investment Corporation Board.
West Point, Nebraska
Tina is a member of the Center for Rural Affairs Advisory Committee.
Omaha, Nebraska
I consider myself an “agricultural scientist,” so, in 1975, I came to Nebraska from New York because this was where there was a lot of agriculture.
Slater, Iowa
Lee is a member of the Center for Rural Affairs Advisory Committee.
Norfolk, Nebraska
Christine Torres is a member of the Advisory Committee.
Milford, Nebraska
Dave Welsch is a member of the Advisory Committee.
Oceanside, California
Bob Warrick is a director emeritus of the Board of Directors.
San Marcos, Texas
Clark Nichols is a director emeritus of the Board of Directors.
Oberlin, Ohio
Don Reeves is a director emeritus of the Board of Directors and is a member of the Granary Board.