Blog Articles & Stories

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

The coronavirus pandemic has swept through the U.S., leaving devastation in its wake. In less than a year, our country has suffered the loss of nearly 500,000 souls due to COVID-19. For the first time...
  • Rural Health
  • Small Towns
Before Father Bryce Lungren was a priest, he was a cowboy. Today, he gets to be both. In the early 2000s, while working on a ranch in Montana, Bryce spent his days rounding up cattle, and was engaged...
  • Farm and Food
Earlier this week, extreme weather caused power outages for much of the central United States. Bitter cold led to increased demand for electricity while also forcing significant portions of electric generation offline, leaving millions of people across the Midwest, Great Plains, and Texas in particular without electricity.
  • Environment
After several years assisting the Center for Rural Affairs with its Tribal programs, Kristine Flyinghawk is bringing her community development talents to the Center full time. Recently hired as Native...
  • Small Business
State regulators ordered an ethanol plant in Mead, Nebraska, to stop producing ethanol from seed corn treated with insecticides and fungicides. The plant had been thrust into the spotlight after local...
  • Farm and Food
“The Salvation of the State is the Watchfulness of the Citizen,” reads an inscription over the main entrance to the Nebraska state Capitol in Lincoln. Democracy needs input from citizens to thrive...
  • Small Towns
For Ryan Collins of Harpers Ferry, Iowa, working on the family farm connects him to both past and future generations. He and his spouse, Samantha, have three children under the age of six and one on...
  • Farm and Food
As if small towns aren’t already sweet enough, Double Dips Ice Creamery in North Platte, Nebraska makes it even sweeter.
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Welcome back to the Center for Rural Affairs Unicameral Update. The past two weeks have been a whirlwind, with 10 or 11 hearings a day at the state Legislature. A number of these hearings focused on...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Bringing rural Iowa to Des Moines The Iowa Legislature just wrapped up the fourth week of its 2021 legislative session. Bills are moving at a record pace, and we’re doing our best to deliver comments...
  • Environment
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Welcome to the Pierre Review! Today is Day 19 of South Dakota’s 37-day legislative session. The last day for unlimited bill introduction was Thursday, Feb. 2, but it is possible we will see some...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
When asked why she supports the Center for Rural Affairs, Barbara Dilly responded with a simple, but powerful thought. “The Center is the only rural advocacy resource we have,” she said. “It works on multiple issues at local, regional, state, and national levels.”
  • Small Towns
While entrepreneurship may not be for everyone, it is something anyone can take on.
  • Small Business
Across rural Iowa, farmers, small businesses, and homeowners are leveraging solar energy to lower their costs and invest in the communities they live and work in.
  • Environment
While South Dakota’s solar industry is still in its infancy, the Public Utility Commission’s recent approval of the 128 megawatt (MW) Wild Springs Solar Project demonstrates the largely untapped potential of solar energy production in the state.
  • Environment
Many people embrace the new year through resolutions. Perhaps on the top of your list is establishing healthier eating habits or learning a new skill each month. For business owners, this is a timely season to enhance processes and strategies by reviewing business plans, which act as roadmaps.
  • Small Business
As the industry continues to grow, many rural communities across the U.S. have reaped the benefits of clean energy development. Among the hotbeds is the Norfolk, Nebraska, area, which is in the midst...
  • Environment
In April 2020, when most of the world was shut down or sheltering in place due to COVID-19, small business owners were faced with some serious challenges: try to keep their businesses afloat by...
  • Small Business
Across rural America, we have eased into new norms and routines. Each of us is attending to the impacts of COVID-19 on our friends, families, and communities as we reflect on these unprecedented times...
  • Farm and Food
The Value Added Producer Grant program, one of the few U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant programs available directly to farmers and ranchers, is now open. In Nebraska, 35 projects were...
  • Farm and Food