Niobrara Nebraska from nearby hill

Blog Articles & Stories

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My parents owned and operated a small-town grocery store in Decatur, Nebraska, and I spent my early childhood roaming the aisles, "helping" and raiding the candy section when no one was looking. I remember how dedicated my parents were, both to the community and their own personal success.
  • Small Towns
The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the radar: sustainable agriculture.
  • Farm and Food
Students with culinary aspirations had an opportunity to link food and culture in a week-long course this summer. Among sessions on kitchen safety, they prepared dishes featuring traditional Indigenous ingredients and flavors such as buffalo, elk, squash, and wild rice.
  • Small Towns
With his administration focused on addressing climate change, President Joe Biden, as part of an executive order signed in January, requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) come up with a plan. In response, starting in May, USDA sought public comments on how their agency should respond.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Mel and Jan Gimbel, who own Wolf Creek Ranch LLC near Ree Heights, South Dakota, have been enrolled in CSP for four years. Organic since 2008, the couple couldn’t resist the opportunity to take part in a program that incentivized their conservation goals and desire to grow healthy food.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
The recent dismissal of Black Hills Energy’s proposed “buy all, sell all” renewable energy tariff exemplifies South Dakota’s need to examine the benefits provided by residential solar to the electrical grid and determine a fair compensation rate for that energy.
  • Environment
The holiday season is upon us, and for many people that means making purchases for gift exchanges and planning the menu for family and work gatherings. But, for our nation’s small business owners, preparing for the biggest and busiest time of the year can take months of hard work, and involves more than just inventory on the shelves.
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Solar energy is now the cheapest form of new energy production, according to recent industry analysis. To leverage this opportunity, the Biden administration recently announced a blueprint to increase...
  • Environment
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, provides nutrition assistance payments to one in every eight Americans each month. Formerly known as food stamps, we often misunderstand the program to favor urban residents. The facts state otherwise.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The newly-passed infrastructure package approved by Congress last week promises to reach every corner of the country, and for rural America, funding for water and sewer, broadband internet, and electrical projects could have the most impact.
  • Environment
Hay muchas noticias y especulaciones sobre la falta de mano de obra, pero a menudo se pasa por alto una solución a la escasez de mano de obra: los inmigrantes que esperan una autorización de empleo.
  • Small Towns
Pipeline proposals can be contentious when economic, environmental, and landowner interests are at odds. With two proposed pipelines intended to facilitate carbon capture and storage across the upper Midwest, it is important there is an understanding of the facts, as well as the relevant questions and concerns surrounding the projects.
  • Environment
The Shell Rock River Watershed Management Coalition (SRRWMC), located in the northeast part of Iowa, met for the first time this summer.
  • Environment
Timing is everything for Cait Caughey. A long-time supporter of the Center for Rural Affairs, Cait always hoped to become part of the organization, though she wasn’t sure in what capacity. After gaining a decade of nonprofit experience as well as several years of agriculture education teaching for schools, colleges, and adults, Cait’s wish has come true.
  • Small Towns
A large number of America's military veterans have returned home to civilian careers and often want to continue the service mission they committed to in the Armed Forces. Many veterans from rural...
  • Farm and Food
In April, President Biden announced a proposal that caught the attention of farmers and ranchers across the country. To help fund his $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, Biden suggested eliminating...
  • Farm and Food
Locally produced honey, artwork and handmade scarves and sweaters will not be stuck on a container ship this holiday season, and small businesses are counting on a strong showing on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 27.
  • Small Business
There is ample news and speculation about the lack of workforce, but one solution to labor shortages often gets overlooked: immigrants waiting for employment authorization.
  • Small Towns
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently published a comprehensive list of application deadlines for its conservation programs, including the...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Creating a safe environment in response to the COVID-19 pandemic often means additional expenses for farmers, farmers markets, food processors, and distributors. A new U.S. Department of Agriculture...
  • Farm and Food