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.

With a background in television journalism and a future in digital marketing, Carmen Montes is looking to use her skills to shine a light on the rural communities of Nebraska.
  • Small Towns
When Gris Grimly and his wife Lynnette moved from California to raise their kids in the slower-paced peace and quiet of Gris’ hometown of West Point, Nebraska, they noticed something missing in their new rural community: the arts.
  • Small Towns
Residential solar energy is booming. The Omaha Public Power District saw a 900% increase in applications for connecting residential and commercial solar systems over the past year. The dramatic...
  • Environment
Congestion and access to the electric grid are keeping rural Minnesota from reaching its full potential in producing clean energy. It’s a dilemma that has gained the attention of Gov. Tim Walz and a...
  • Environment
Food insecurity and access to fresh foods, such as unprocessed meat and produce, are real concerns for rural Nebraska. As we experience the increasing cost of living and continued closure of small town grocery stores an emphasis needs to be placed on supporting local food businesses over national chains.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Con las esperanzas de proveer un ambiente familiar y seguro con un currículo bilingüe, tres mujeres abren una guardería en South Sioux City.
  • Small Business
With hopes of providing a safe home-like environment and bilingual curriculum, three women open a bilingual day care in South Sioux City.
  • Small Business
As producers work to harvest their cash crops this fall, some will also be turning their attention to another. Cover crops, which can be a grass, legume, or brassica, are seeded for both on-farm and...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
As the demand for local foods grows, small- and mid-sized meat and poultry processors are looking to make investments to expand their capacity, create new markets for their product, and train the next...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
I come from a family with deep roots in north central Indiana. We have multiple generations on both sides of the family in that region, most recently Rochester and Flora. I was born and raised in West...
  • Environment
All farmers and ranchers need to manage risk, and federal crop insurance is one tool available to help them do so. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we believe operations of all types and sizes need to...
  • Farm and Food
The Leech Lake Band of the Ojibwe has demonstrated a long commitment to sustainability. In recent years, their Tribal government agreed that renewable energy and green infrastructure should be part of their sustainability efforts—and the progress shows.
  • Environment
Reducing their carbon footprint in the classroom doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming for educators. By taking small steps, such as recycling and reusing materials, teachers can create a climate-smart classroom that makes a lasting impact.
  • Environment
Patricia Pinto has had a number of setbacks—from hail to high temperatures to a derecho. But she’s not giving up on the farm she purchased in 2019. “Sometimes it’s hard to start a business,” Patricia said. “They usually tell you the first three years are the hardest ones, so I’m praying and hoping, and asking God for mercy that this year I am going to have my best crop ever.”
  • Farm and Food
The effects of climate change, such as droughts and destructive storms, have been visible across Iowa in recent years. That's prompted calls for state lawmakers to hold more direct talks about solutions. The Iowa Legislature reconvenes in January. Before that happens, groups like the Center for Rural Affairs want recommendations to address climate change around the state.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
On Aug. 4, Center for Rural Affairs staff were on hand for a solar tour near Ramsey, Minnesota focused on examining the benefits of combining agriculture and solar energy, a practice referred to as “agrivoltaics.” The day-long tour included stops at three sites, where participants saw first-hand how beneficial practices such as grazing, beekeeping, and the use of native vegetation and pollinator habitat are being implemented in combination with solar energy production.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
With the age of Nebraska's farmers and beekeepers on the rise, bee enthusiasts are encouraging more young people to check out the Great Plains Master Beekeeping Program. The program spans across the Midwest, with sites in Grand Island, Lincoln, Omaha and Scott's Bluff.
  • Farm and Food
A program incentivizing microentrepreneurship by encouraging business investment is seeing renewed interest after updates made last year. Established in 2005, the Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise...
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The Center for Rural Affairs represents all rural citizens—specifically with state and federal policy on farm bill programs, clean energy, water quality, small businesses, health care access, and broadband.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
I recently attended a memorial for Ashleigh Wabasha. Ashleigh was 19 years old and a member of the Santee Sioux Nation in Nebraska. She was a close friend of an employee of the Center for Rural Affairs.
  • Small Towns