Blog Articles & Stories

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

At the close of 2020’s unusual Nebraska legislative session, a long-sought grand compromise on property tax relief and business incentives was reached, but not without some controversy and...
  • Small Towns
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hit the Midwest hard, Nebraska stands apart as the only state in the union halting the emergency boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)...
  • Farm and Food
Though she was born and raised in a metropolitan area, Eunice Ramirez feels more at home in rural America. “I was raised in a big city where farming and small town areas were things I only read about...
  • Small Towns
As the new school year gets underway across the nation, we are seeing a renewed focus on agriculture education and local food. Next to many schools, greenhouses are a common sight. With these come...
  • Farm and Food
Aug. 10, 2020, is a day I will never forget. A storm with winds comparable to an inland hurricane, called a derecho, blew through the corn belt and hit Iowa from west to east along U.S. Highway 30 at...
  • Small Towns
Nebraska will be defending its regional title in this year's Crunch Off competition, where schools across the nation devour locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Farm and Food
The 2018 farm bill required the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to solicit feedback from farmers about how crop insurance could better serve non-traditional folks. There are still a few...
  • Farm and Food
Coffee talk that once revolved around the weather and crops has evolved to include the latest COVID-19 numbers and milling over who got it and how they are doing. When one of the two regular employees...
  • Small Business
The wind energy industry remains one of the fastest growing in the U.S. It has not only increased capacity, but provided consumers and utilities with clean energy while creating additional economic...
  • Environment
This October marks the culmination of two and a half years of hard work by advocates, partners, and the Center for Rural Affairs to expand Medicaid in Nebraska. In summer 2018, we started by asking...
  • Rural Health
Many years ago, my great-great-great-great grandparents, Joseph and Malvina Choquette, built a spare frontier cabin in Salix, Iowa, just south of Sioux City. They came from up north in Canada looking...
  • Small Towns
When the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the U.S., farmers and ranchers faced financial challenges because of market prices. However, farmers are resilient, and Ron Spicka is no exception. A lifelong...
  • Farm and Food
They’ve been chronicling the people, places, and events of small towns for decades—some even 100 years or more. However, as social media, the internet, and other sources of information have come on...
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Small businesses continue to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. While they are doing their best to keep the doors open, they are hurting. That is especially true in our rural towns...
  • Small Business
The derecho storm that hit central and eastern Iowa on Monday, Aug. 10, left a devastating swathe of damage that has residents still reeling. Many people have lost their homes, millions of acres of...
  • Small Towns
The derecho that stormed through central and eastern Iowa on Monday, Aug. 10, left many farmers reeling. Damage spans crop destruction, equipment and building damage, and prolonged power outages. Most...
  • Farm and Food
Nebraska lawmakers took significant steps to improve rural broadband with the passage of Legislative Bills 992 and 996 in the final weeks of an unusual 2020 session, which adjourned Aug. 13. After...
  • Environment
  • Rural Health
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Like many locally-owned businesses in small towns, Old Cottonwood, in Utica, Nebraska, is more than just another store—it’s the hard work, dedication, and dreams of the owners coming to fruition. From...
  • Small Business
For almost four years, Anna Johnson has been the leader of the agricultural policy portfolio at the Center for Rural Affairs. Recently, she shared her thoughts on the Center’s agricultural policy...
  • Farm and Food
For farmers and ranchers who sell to local markets, crop insurance options are limited. This leads many operations to forego crop insurance as a risk management strategy, or to only insure a portion of their crops. If you are a local foods producer who would like to offer feedback or ideas about your crop insurance options, consider attending an upcoming virtual listening session.
  • Farm and Food