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.

Summer is in full swing and with that comes cookouts and gatherings where food is featured. As you plan your menu, keep local farmers in mind. Buying locally-produced food strengthens the local...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
From touring central Europe as a high school exchange student to doing contract farm work throughout parts of the Midwest, Casey O’Brien loves trying new things and seeing new places. His most recent...
  • Small Business
Malloree Barnes knows a little can go a long way. Milking just four cows per day, she’s supplying raw milk to 30 customers each week. With support from a Value Added Producer Grant (VAPG), she’s...
  • Farm and Food
Mariza Pacheco nunca imaginó tener su propio negocio, pero cuando su empleador decidió vender su empresa, Gary's Cleaning and Restoration, pensó que era el momento adecuado y consideró comprarle el negocio.
  • Small Business
Mariza Pacheco never imagined having her own business, but when her employer decided to sell his company, Gary’s Cleaning and Restoration, she figured the timimg was right, and looked into purchasing the company from him.
  • Small Business
As inflation pinches pocketbooks across the state, Nebraskans are looking for ways to save money.
  • Environment
On June 10, the Center and Iowa Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) hosted a Rural Energy Field Day at the Griffieon Family Farm in rural Polk County, Iowa. Focused on solar energy, field day...
  • Environment
Rural residents often visit the nearest major city to access services. The Guatemalan consulate is turning the tables by taking their services directly to the rural areas closer to their citizens residing in the United States.
  • Small Towns
Lucky Joe’s Liquor Store, LLC, in Neligh, Nebraska, has lived up to its name for owner Joe Lichty from staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic to narrowly missing having his building hit by a semi truck full of cattle.
  • Small Business
Due to the rising prices in supermarkets and global supply chain interruptions, many consumers are seeking local food outlets. While this is great news for producers who rely on these markets and wish to see them grow, producing local food is not an easy job.
  • Farm and Food
During their 2022 sessions, the Nebraska and Iowa legislatures continued to show their support for small meat processors, following up on legislation passed in 2021 with the passage of bills that create new programs and provide funding to increase capacity and address workforce issues. Meanwhile, South Dakota lawmakers approved bills addressing solar energy facilities, rural broadband, and the state’s home-processed foods law.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Higher mortgage rates and skyrocketing rents have fueled the nation's housing crisis. In states like Iowa, rural communities deal with the same market issues, but they point to existing efforts as a blueprint to increase access.
  • Small Towns
Implementing new conservation practices has many benefits for farms and ranches, but can sometimes be cost prohibitive for beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged producers. However, there are conservation programs that can help with those costs, even upfront.
  • Farm and Food
With Nebraska farmers facing runaway costs for herbicides and fertilizers this year, a new Center for Rural Affairs report suggested adopting simple conservation practices can help restore soil and improve bottom lines.
  • Farm and Food
During the past several years, one person has been the driving force behind most of the graphic design elements and photographs seen throughout the Center for Rural Affairs’ published work: Kylie Kai.
  • Small Towns
Ciro Cortez ha trabajado en la industria restaurantera desde que era un lavaplatos de 16 años en California. Cuatro meses más tarde, fue ascendido a ayudante de cocina, luego a cocinero, y siguió ascendiendo en los rangos culinarios hasta convertirse en chef a cargo de una cocina completa.
  • Small Business
Ciro Cortez has worked in the restaurant industry since he was a 16-year-old dishwasher in California. Four months later, he was promoted to kitchen assistant, then to cook, and he kept rising through the culinary ranks until he was a chef in charge of an entire kitchen.
  • Small Business
It’s official—this year’s Iowa legislative session has come to a close. Legislators wrapped up just after midnight last Wednesday, May 25, after two marathon days of passing bills. Two Center...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Investments in renewable energy and efficiency provide opportunities for business owners to reduce costs and improve their bottom line. Additionally, when commercial energy users cut usage and invest in efficiency, emissions reductions can be achieved.
  • Environment
Las fincas y ranchos rurales tienen una relación recíproca con su medio ambiente. La salud del suelo, el agua suficiente y las temperaturas adecuadas tienen un papel en el desarrollo de cultivos o animales.
  • Farm and Food