Niobrara Nebraska from nearby hill

Blog Posts & Stories

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

This blog is part of our “Farm Bill Bulletin” series, which provides intermittent updates on the development and status of our nation’s next farm bill. Farm bill negotiations that began in 2023 are...
  • Policy
Erin Schoenberg is no stranger to the Center for Rural Affairs. With a history that goes back to fall 2012, Erin has taken on roles ranging from working with Latino farmers to establishing community...
  • Small Towns
Nebraska's public power districts provide some of the most reliable and cost-effective energy in the country. Our state’s residential utility electricity rate is nearly 30% lower than the national average, and Nebraska was recently named the top state in the country for power grid reliability by the U.S. News and World Report.
  • Policy
We are in the seventh week of the 2024 Iowa legislative session, and the first funnel deadline is now behind us. Bills that did not pass out of their respective full committee last week are now...
  • Policy
It has been a busy few weeks at the Capitol. Tomorrow is Crossover Day, which is the last date for bills to be passed through their house of origin. All bills must pass both houses by March 4, with...
  • Policy
We are at the midpoint of the busy 2024 legislative session. Mornings have been dedicated to full floor debate with hearings scheduled in the afternoons. Contention from last year’s session has thus...
  • Policy
Dirigir un negocio es más que un trabajo para Alberto Castillo; Es un estilo de vida. Poco después de establecerse en Nebraska en el año 2006, Alberto tuvo una experiencia desagradable al preparar sus impuestos. Decidió aprender a preparar sus propios impuestos para evitar los mismos problemas en el futuro.
  • Lending
Running a business is more than a job for Alberto Castillo; it’s a way of life. Not long after settling in Nebraska in 2006, Alberto had an unpleasant experience getting his taxes prepared. He decided to learn how to prepare his own taxes to avoid the same issues in the future.
  • Lending
Approximately 150,000 school-aged children throughout Nebraska face food insecurity. While Nebraska leaders have tried to address the issue in recent years by expanding eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to hundreds of additional families, further steps are necessary to ensure children in our state stay fed.
  • Policy
When Lori Liggett stumbled across the Center for Rural Affairs online, she was intrigued by the organization's work and purpose. She saw that the Center was hiring and knew she wanted to become part of the team.
  • Small Towns
Elle Worley returned to her mother's hometown of Dunning, Nebraska, and began working at her family’s operation, WM. Zutavern Cattle Co. Last year, she wanted to grow her agricultural skills beyond her backyard garden, so she expanded her garden into a small farm.
  • Farm and Food
Today is Day 19 of South Dakota’s 38-day legislative session, which will conclude March 25. The last day for bill introductions was Feb. 1. Bills must pass out of their house of origin by Feb. 21...
  • Policy
We are four weeks into the 2024 Iowa legislative session. Bill introductions and committee and subcommittee meetings continue to keep lawmakers busy. In our last Field Notes, we introduced you to...
  • Policy
On Tuesday, Jan. 30, a hearing for Legislative Bill (LB) 1116 was held before the Agriculture Committee. This Center for Rural Affairs legislation, introduced by Sen. Teresa Ibach, would create a...
  • Policy
Significant snow, wind, and brutally cold temperatures impacted Nebraska in January. Given the frequency of extreme weather events experienced across the U.S. during the past several years, preparing for emergencies is an important consideration for utilities and regulators. Extreme weather events have an outsized impact on the electric grid and show the necessity of protecting its integrity and resiliency.
  • Policy
Crop insurance provides a safety net for farmers, protecting their operations from loss due to natural perils such as drought, frost, excess moisture, pest infestations, or disease.
  • Farm and Food
  • Policy
From a potential client to a member of the Board of Directors, Krista Dittman has spent the past few decades getting to know the Center for Rural Affairs. She started on the board in 2018, but she had...
  • Small Towns
Progress is shaping up as lawmakers work their way through the third week of Iowa’s legislative session. Individual senators and representatives were busy introducing legislation of their own through...
  • Policy
Today is Day 10 of South Dakota’s 38-day legislative session, which will conclude March 25. The session got off to a quick start this year with bills coming up for hearings on Legislative Day 3. All...
  • Policy
Across the country, lawmakers are gathering in their respective state capitols and Washington, D.C. to begin another year of debating and passing legislation. The democratic process is something...
  • Small Towns
  • Policy