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.

Alma Sagastume knows a thing or two about running a business. For years, she ran her own shop in Guatemala before moving to Nebraska, where she has owned and operated My 15 City for the better part of a decade.
  • Small Business
Dennis Demmel of Ogallala, Nebraska, has been intrigued by the Center for Rural Affairs since its inception in 1974.
  • Small Towns
Small business development is important in rural areas of our nation, where access to employment opportunities are limited and where jobs pay less. However, the Office of Rural Affairs within the U.S...
  • Small Business
This is the second of two blogs updating readers on the status of the fiscal year 2022 appropriations process. To read the first, click here. In recent days, the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Teresa Tietz is no stranger to any of the crucial tasks that make a business tick. Two decades of experience left her familiar with accounts payable, payroll, donations, and daily office operations, and she’s ready to take on her newest role as an accounting and office assistant with the Center for Rural Affairs.
  • Small Towns
With demand for local foods growing steadily over the past 16 months, livestock producers and the processors they depend on have done all they can to keep up. Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. As...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
From operating a food truck to opening a carry-out and delivery restaurant, Sonephet Manivong has spent the past decade working to make his entrepreneurial endeavors come to life.
  • Small Business
Many of us have strong memories of those who came before us, and of the stories of how our families became what they are today.
  • Small Towns
Rural America has faced a series of major disturbances in the past few years and those can take a toll on mental health, especially for farmers and ranchers and their families.
  • Farm and Food
Center staff and Board spent the past year developing a set of principles to help guide our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. In adopting these principles at our recent Board meeting...
  • Small Towns
This summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun accepting applications for two important programs for rural development. The first is the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC)...
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
One of the biggest issues beginning farmers and ranchers often face when starting out is access to land they can afford. On the opposite side of things, retiring landowners who don’t have family or anyone they trust to pass their land on to are stuck trying to find someone to carry on the agricultural legacy they built.
  • Farm and Food
As a child, Karen Tikalsky believed good would prevail over evil. As an adult, she learned that creating opportunity and meaningful life in rural America requires hard work, embracing responsibility...
  • Small Towns
The passage of bills supporting small meat processors and livestock producers was a common theme as the 2021 legislative sessions in Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota came to an end.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Last month, President Joe Biden unveiled his full budget for fiscal year 2022. The annual release—a formal request by the administration to Congress for funding for government programs—was several months behind schedule, likely due to the change in administration and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The feeling didn’t happen overnight. In fact, my appreciation for local, rural communities developed over many years. I was born and raised in a growing and thriving small town that offered a plethora...
  • Small Towns
Minnesota is known for extreme weather, but climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of unfavorable weather events. This June, Minnesota has felt like a convection oven, with record...
  • Environment
Across the country, states have been innovative in finding ways to integrate the goals of eliminating hunger and strengthening local food systems, according to a white paper released by the Center for...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Last fall, nearly two years after voter approval, Nebraska expanded Medicaid coverage to adults earning less than 138% of the federal poverty level, or about $17,000 per year. While this was good news...
  • Rural Health
Even with full-time jobs and full lives, Brandon and Lisa Hixon wanted to contribute more to their hometown of Chappell, Nebraska. “We wanted to give something to the town that we thought would make...
  • Small Business