Niobrara Nebraska from nearby hill

Blog Articles & Stories

What's happening with the Center for Rural Affairs? Find the latest on rural America and our work here.

Dollar General has become a ubiquitous feature of America’s small towns. The discount retailer is opening new stores at a rate of 1,000 a year. There are now more than 16,000 spread across the country...
  • Small Towns
After retiring from a career in education that took him all around the world, then settling in Red Cloud, Nebraska, Jay Hall found the Center for Rural Affairs through a good friend. He believed in...
  • Small Towns
As a railroad engineer, Tanner Connell worked long days and was constantly on call, stuck by his phone at all hours. After 12 years, he’d had enough, and decided to become his own boss. Trucking had...
  • Small Business
Welcome again to your update on the Nebraska Legislature. The past two weeks saw continued success for bills supported by the Center. Legislative Bill (LB) 366, a bill to improve the Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit passed the first round of debate nearly without opposition (41-1 vote).
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Nearly five months after the start of the 2021 legislative session, state lawmakers are approaching the finish line. As lawmakers finalize their budgets and wrap up the session, 47 bills have already been signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
I was born in rural Nebraska in the mid-1980s during a farm crisis. I would learn later in life that my family was fortunate enough to make ends meet with a combination of corn, soybeans, and 60 head of beloved Holstein cattle.
  • Small Towns
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed new challenges for rural Iowans in the past year, it has renewed calls for improved services to ensure a resilient future. With the introduction of his first...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
You have a great idea for a new small business. Congratulations! Now, what do you do to turn that idea into a legitimate business? To celebrate National Small Business Week, May 2 to 8, 2021, here is...
  • Small Business
Bumble bees are a charismatic and easily recognizable pollinator thanks to their loud buzz, fuzzy appearance, and distinct color patterns.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Renewable energy projects are gaining momentum. Utility-scale solar and wind projects have continued to proliferate across the rural landscape as these sources of electricity have become more cost...
  • Environment
Ya sea por cierres de empleo o falta de clientes, la pandemia de coronavirus ha dejado innumerables negocios cerrados y personas sin trabajo. Claudia Escobedo y su esposo se encontraron en esa situación, pero han sacado lo mejor de las malas circunstancias.
  • Small Business
Whether due to lockdowns or lack of customers, the coronavirus pandemic has left countless businesses closed and people without jobs. Claudia Escobedo and her husband found themselves in that situation, but they have made the best out of bad circumstances.
  • Small Business
From Venezuela to Nebraska, Nicaragua to Alaska, and finally American Samoa, Diego Ayala has lived and worked in a variety of rural areas. Moving back to Nebraska to be closer with family, he now calls Lincoln, Nebraska, home and will be sharing his experiences to help the rest of rural America thrive.
  • Small Towns
Carbon payment programs offer a financial opportunity for farmers implementing important conservation on their farms and while there has been growing excitement for these programs, standardization and verification is necessary.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
There is never a dull moment in Guadalupe Aracely Vazquez’s life. From raising her children to planning parties of every kind, the decorator does it all.
  • Small Business
Nunca hay un momento aburrido en la vida de Guadalupe Aracely Vázquez. Desde la crianza de sus hijos hasta la planificación de fiestas de todo tipo, la decoradora lo hace todo.
  • Small Business
Communities across Nebraska are banding together in response to the COVID-19 health emergency, and volunteers have become critical for distributing vaccines.
  • Small Towns
Welcome again to your update on the Nebraska Legislature. The past two weeks have seen the advancement of a number of bills supported by the Center, as well as debate and advancement of the state budget.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
We are nearing the end of the 2021 legislative session as lawmakers concluded their 14th week last Friday. We have been continually grateful for the support that countless rural Iowans have demonstrated for the priorities we are pursuing this year.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Melissa Florell became aware of the Center growing up near the Center’s home office in Lyons, Nebraska. Though she now lives outside Kearney, Nebraska, with her family, Melissa’s connection with the Center spans most of her career.
  • Small Towns