Staff spotlight: Miranda Roberts has unwavering passion for positive change

Small Towns
Farm and Food

For years, the Center for Rural Affairs has worked alongside the Isanti and UMÓⁿHOⁿ people, as well as Nebraska Indian Community College. This collaboration has led to successfully developing and nurturing food systems and strengthening communities through business opportunities.

Together, they offer activities to promote cultural traditions and better health, and to support families growing fruits and vegetables.

Recently, the Center hired Miranda Roberts to take on the role of Native foods associate to help with these efforts. She works within the Santee community to plan activities to help increase the number of gardens and locally formed small businesses.

Kristine Flyinghawk, Native communities manager for the Center, said Miranda is a great addition to the Center team and brings a wealth of knowledge to the table.

“Miranda has spent 11 years working in education, which has equipped her with valuable skills in communication, relationship-building, and understanding the needs of diverse groups of people,” Kristine said.

In addition to her knowledge in the education field, Miranda has also accumulated five years of business experience.

“Her extensive knowledge in education and business, combined with her traditional knowledge and unwavering passion for positive change, makes Miranda an exceptional choice for this position,” Kristine said. “Her ability to connect, inspire, and bring people together is exactly what our community needs. She is dedicated to the well-being of our residents and possesses the skills to create lasting impact.”

As much as she is a good fit for the Center, Miranda knew right away that the organization would be an excellent match for her as well.

“I’m a working mom with three children, and three bonus kids, and being part of the Center team offers me the positive working environment and flexibility I need to care for my family the best I can,” she said.

Not only does the role fit her personally, it also makes sense professionally. During her time in education, Miranda initiated projects that brought parents, teachers, and students closer together, building bridges and fostering a sense of unity.

Working at Isanti Community School in Santee for the past five years as a paraprofessional has made her even more familiar with the community and has offered her valuable insights into what youth need.

“Sometimes there needs to be more community activities to keep them occupied, and part of the work I do is to spark their interests to achieve that,” Miranda said.

Striving to protect the interests of the youth and small communities of rural America is not just work she loves, Miranda also treasures being a part of rural America herself. Growing up in a small rural town meant a great deal to Miranda, and she continues to raise her family in the rural area of Niobrara, Nebraska, to keep that tradition alive.

And, although Miranda stays incredibly busy, when she does have a spare moment, she enjoys beading and sewing, especially ribbon skirts.

Miranda works from her home office, and can be reached at 402.870.2710 or