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.

On Feb. 24, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on resilient supply chains. As a part of this order, the President called for the advancement of agriculture supply chains that are less...
  • Farm and Food
For the past decade, area restaurants have featured some of the finest quality organic heirloom vegetables on their menus thanks to Squeaky Green Organics. Brian and Suzanne Kliewer own and operate...
  • Small Business
Black Hills Energy customers will no longer find solar a financially feasible option to cut their energy costs if a proposed tariff on renewable energy generation is approved. In an application submitted to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, the company is asking to implement a “buy all, sell all’’ tariff on new customers who generate their own renewable energy.
  • Environment
During this school year, students at Nebraska Christian Schools in Central City have been eating fresh, delicious vegetables in their school lunches—vegetables they grew themselves in their school greenhouse.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Leaders are the life-blood of small towns and rural communities. The success or failure of community development efforts often rests with the degree of leadership local residents are willing to...
  • Small Towns
When the coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, many business owners figured out new, innovative ways to draw in potential customers. One of the alternative methods to face-to-face interaction is the use...
  • Small Business
Entrepreneurs in southeast Nebraska looking to grow their businesses, find access to capital, learn new technical skills, and more, are in good hands. Sam Tulp, the Center for Rural Affairs’ newest...
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Four months and seven days. That’s how long the 2021 Iowa legislative session lasted. Lawmakers completed their business and adjourned Wednesday night just before midnight.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Owner of Blossom Beauty Salon in Grand Island, Nebraska, Veronica’s specialty is nails—manicures, pedicures, and more. Her sister, Angeles Nuñez, does nails in the salon as well, and Veronica rents the four hair-styling stations to local stylists, making her business a full-service salon.
  • Small Business
The Center for Rural Affairs’ staff and board work toward bettering rural America. From helping small businesses with financing and training to giving family farms a leg up against larger operations...
  • Small Towns
The legislative session in Nebraska is working its way toward its conclusion, likely in early June. Two priority bills from the Center saw significant developments since our last update.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The little blue house sits in the middle of a block, the second in a row of four homes. Two chairs and a small table on the front porch invite friends and neighbors to drop by for a visit. The porch...
  • Small Towns
Communities throughout Minnesota have recently gone through the process of getting solar projects nearly to the finish line only to be stalled by interconnection challenges. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a record year for solar installation with a 43% increase over 2019.
  • Environment
Las comunidades de Minnesota han pasado recientemente por el proceso de lograr que los proyectos solares casi lleguen a la línea de meta solo para quedar estancados por los desafíos de interconexión.
  • Environment
In late April, Nebraska’s 2021 Leopold Conservation Award was presented to the Switzer family of Loup County. The family was recognized by Gov. Pete Ricketts in a ceremony at the capitol.
  • Environment
On Jan. 27, President Biden signed an executive order about tackling climate change. In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sought comments on how their agency should take action on...
  • Environment
For decades Iowans have led the nation in innovating our way to a cleaner, more reliable power grid that promotes public health and economic prosperity in our rural communities.
  • Environment
Dollar General has become a ubiquitous feature of America’s small towns. The discount retailer is opening new stores at a rate of 1,000 a year. There are now more than 16,000 spread across the country...
  • Small Towns
After retiring from a career in education that took him all around the world, then settling in Red Cloud, Nebraska, Jay Hall found the Center for Rural Affairs through a good friend. He believed in...
  • Small Towns
As a railroad engineer, Tanner Connell worked long days and was constantly on call, stuck by his phone at all hours. After 12 years, he’d had enough, and decided to become his own boss. Trucking had...
  • Small Business