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.

Fouad Mhadji Issa says Nebraska vanilla will be the next big thing. Like beef. Or sweet corn. Koponi Vanilla, his business in Grand Island, Nebraska, sells gourmet beans, paste, and extract. Fouad is working hard to make Koponi a premium product sought after by chefs and home bakers nationwide.
  • Small Business
The first week of the Nebraska legislative session saw the introduction of more than 200 new bills and resolutions. This week, senators will continue to introduce new bills ahead of the Jan. 18 deadline. Each bill introduced will be scheduled for a hearing in 1 of 14 standing committees.
  • Farm and Food
  • Rural Health
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The 2023 Iowa legislative session began Monday, and we are returning to provide updates from a rural perspective. This year’s session is expected to last 110 calendar days, ending in late April
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
Today marks the first day of the 2023 South Dakota legislative session. The Center for Rural Affairs will be tracking policies that affect the rural quality of life and intersect with our goal of...
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
Community-based and socially engaged art can help to build community, deepen understanding, and encourage empathy. I experienced this firsthand on a recent visit to the traveling virtual reality...
  • Small Towns
In 2017, local leaders in eastern Iowa came together with goals to improve water quality, reduce flooding, and protect their drinking water. Five years later, the Maquoketa River Watershed Management...
  • Environment
With feedback from agricultural producers in hand, Center for Rural Affairs Policy Associate Kalee Olson traveled to Washington, D.C., this fall as part of the 2022 National Sustainable Agriculture...
  • Farm and Food
We are returning to provide legislative updates from a rural perspective. The Nebraska Legislature convened its 2023 session today, Wednesday, Jan. 4. This will be a “long” session—legally mandated to be 90 working days—it is tentatively scheduled to adjourn on June 9.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Just off the campus of Maharishi University in Fairfield, Iowa, sits a 1.1 megawatt (MW) solar farm. Beneath the panels, a flock of sheep and their newborn lambs are grazing, while beginning rancher...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Lawmakers in Iowa will debate a host of issues during the 2023 legislative session, including energy and water quality. Relevant developments concerning priority legislation will be shared via email...
  • Environment
Elected representatives in Nebraska will debate a host of issues during the 2023 legislative session, including appropriations, budget and tax, economic development, energy and environment, and family...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
It's official! The first day of 2023 is here. We present our most viewed blog post of 2022, where author Nick Summers answers questions on three proposed carbon dioxide pipelines in the Midwest. This...
  • Environment
In our second highest viewed post of 2022, we feature our second business of our countdown. River Mill Coffee in Neligh, Nebraska, is run by two women who focus on creating an atmosphere in this rural...
  • Small Business
Today, we share number three in our top five blog posts countdown, an informative piece for those who are looking to relocate to a rural area. Molly Malone writes about incentives available in...
  • Small Towns
The year in review countdown continues with a blog featuring a small meat processor who has helped advance our public policy. Coming in at number four is a blog on Kent Wiese, owner of Amend's Packing...
  • Small Towns
Welcome to the end-of-year countdown. To celebrate the end of 2022 and the new year, we are taking a look at the top blogs of the year. Starting today through Jan. 1, we'll review the five best Center...
  • Small Business
With the booming popularity of food trucks, the people who own and operate them need a standard set of operating rules. That's the point of some legislation soon to be introduced in Nebraska. The Center for Rural Affairs has found a "mishmash" of regulations for food trucks in Nebraska cities, counties and Department of Agriculture inspection areas.
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Accurate data is a must if Nebraska is going to improve broadband access in rural areas. Due to recent federal legislation, accuracy is also the key to ensuring states receive their full share of federal grant funding. Soon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will determine the amount of money each state is allocated through the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment program.
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The desire to become more self-sustainable led Jazz to explore agriculture. In an effort to continue their agricultural education, Jazz applied to the 2022 Center for Rural Affairs Beginning Farmer Conservation Fellowship Program.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Cuando se presentó la oportunidad de cambiar su trayectoria profesional de una manera que le permitiera a Olga ver más a su familia, además de trabajar con ellos todos los días, supo que había encontrado el negocio adecuado.
  • Small Business