Blog Articles & Stories

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

Paul Swanson joined the Board in 1995, and says a gathering in Brewster, Nebraska, holds extra significance for him.
  • Small Towns
Residents of Santee, Nebraska, were offered a unique opportunity in December 2020 that not only provided some holiday cheer to those who participated, it served as a potential small business venture as well.
  • Small Towns
Over the past 12 months, we have lost many of the small businesses that make our communities whole. Thousands more have been forced to delay planned investment and pause plans for future growth.
  • Small Business
Before finishing cosmetology school, Jennifer Hill had a dream to be a business owner and open her own salon. With the drive and determination to make that dream a reality, she started looking into what it would take to start her own business. Jennifer reached out to a contact at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension office and received guidance on where to begin, including how to make a business plan.
  • Small Business
Growing up in North Dakota on a small hobby-type ranch, Dean Dauphinais became interested in farming at a young age. Dean is now an honorably discharged Marine Corps veteran and has relocated to...
  • Farm and Food
School districts and organizations across Nebraska are putting a renewed emphasis on food—not only which food students eat, but where it comes from and what the students know about it.
  • Farm and Food
As the operator of a small local meat locker, I find that the goal of our day-to-day work is not to get our product to a big-box grocery store customer. Instead, we do our best to create a quality food that our neighbors, family, friends and farmers can be proud of.
  • Farm and Food
Last week marked the 10th week of the 2021 Iowa legislative session. On Friday, the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met and projected a revenue increase of $109 million, reaching a total of $8.079 billion for fiscal year (FY) 2021, which ends on June 30, 2021. For FY 2022, which ends on June 30, 2022, the REC increased the revenue estimate to $8.385 billion, an increase of $120 million compared to the December estimate.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
It has been a good couple of weeks for the Center’s priority bills. Legislative Bill (LB) 324, which would amend the state’s meat and poultry inspection law to make it easier to buy meat from local farmers, passed General File (the first vote) 46-0. It has advanced to the Select File stage; after one more round of review, it will be moved to a final reading and vote.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Bonnie Haugen believes the better she takes care of her part of the world, the better it is for herself and those around her. Through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Bonnie, a dairy farmer...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Rural America is vastly different from how it was in the early 1990s, but one constant has been the Center for Rural Affairs’ core values. They have been upheld and have remained strong since their inception. That’s why, for nearly 30 years, Keith Mahaney has lent his voice to the Center for Rural Affairs Board of Directors.
  • Small Towns
In mid-February, a large swath of the Midwest and Great Plains faced extreme cold and winter weather. While many states, including Nebraska, were impacted, Texas was by far the hardest hit by these events.
  • Environment
For almost a decade, Sarah Smith has worked tirelessly on advancing farm to school efforts in Nebraska. Her work began in a pilot program at the Center for Rural Affairs to launch farm to school in the state, and serve as the state lead in partnership with the National Farm to School Network. Sarah managed grant-funded projects that built rural farm to school programming, partnerships, and resource development.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
When Ana Carlota Mendez found herself between a rock and a hard place in terms of employment, she decided to start her own small business as a seamstress, something she’s been practicing since she was 7 years old.
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Molly Herman, a rural public health worker at a health department in Nebraska, stepped into her role in this field not long after the coronavirus spread throughout the nation. She recently received both doses of the vaccine, and says she had plenty of reasons to do so.
  • Rural Health
  • Small Towns
I have been involved in a number of different aspects of the production side of beef agriculture for my entire life. I grew up on a family ranch in the Sandhills, was employed in sale barns and feedyards as I worked my way through college, and have worked on a variety of cattle ranches before owning and operating my own business, Broken Arrow Cattle Co.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
On Feb. 12, a 4 million gallon waste tank sprung a leak at the AltEn ethanol plant in Mead, which sits a half hour north of Lincoln. The toxic brew of manure and waste material from the tank spread into waterways and culverts for more than four miles.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
In recent years, there has been an increase in cover crop implementation across the U.S. due, in part, to federal and state programs offering financial and technical assistance. Cover crops are seeded...
  • Farm and Food
Welcome to the Pierre Review The legislative session is coming to a close. March 11 was Day 36 of South Dakota’s 37-day session. The last date for bills or joint resolutions to pass both houses was...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
The community of Schuyler, Nebraska, has embraced and supported business owners Luis Salinas, his brother Jose, and their father, Cristobal, since they opened their restaurant, Burrito House. They’ve offered their customers Mexican favorites like burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas, and more for nearly two decades.
  • Small Business