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Blog Articles & Stories

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

We’re in the fifth week of Iowa’s legislative session, which so far has been busy with the introduction of bills and subcommittee work before a Feb. 18 funnel deadline. A significant conversation at...
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
Today is Day 19 of South Dakota’s 38-day legislative session. We have been watching bills that impact renewable energy, broadband, home processed foods, and more. The last day for bill introduction...
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
Floor debate and committee hearings are in full swing. The Nebraska Legislature has a lot of work to do in this short session and it is expected that bills will need a priority designation to see any...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Rural Health
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
When declining population plagues a rural community, it has a precipitous effect on the quality of life of those who remain. Rural areas are often safe, affordable, and full of opportunity, but people don’t want to move somewhere that sacrifices quality of life.
  • Small Towns
A new federal program is offering grant funding for rural communities to develop community renewable energy projects.
  • Environment
Las pequeñas empresas enfrentan desafíos a diario y el nuevo año no es una excepción. Con el estrés que viene junto con el final de las vacaciones, algunos propietarios de pequeñas empresas se vuelven vulnerables a los prestamistas depredadores que los atacan con préstamos que parecen demasiado buenos para ser verdad.
  • Small Business
Celebrate #LoveRuralAm month with us this February. What do you love about rural America? Is it a rustic barn, a bustling main street, or a lively small town community? How about your local library, a...
  • Small Towns
En el 2019, Frank Villegas logro hacer algo con lo que siempre había soñado: comenzó su propio negocio en los Estados Unidos.
  • Small Business
In 2019, Frank Villegas was able to do something he’d always dreamed of: He started his own business in the U.S. FV Logistics, Frank’s trucking company, operates out of Columbus, Nebraska, and specializes in refrigerated transport.
  • Small Business
For Nebraska’s small business owners, the past two years have been anything but easy. From forced closures to supply chain disruptions, entrepreneurs are seeing a new challenge at every turn. The Nebraska Legislature will have an opportunity to provide some much needed stability with two bills scheduled to appear in front of the Appropriations Committee in February.
  • Small Business
Biochar is an agricultural practice that is gaining in popularity—but what is it?
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Today is Day 10 of South Dakota’s 38-day legislative session, which will conclude March 28. All bills need to be introduced by Feb. 3 (Legislative Day 16) and must pass out of both houses by March 7...
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
Welcome again to the Center for Rural Affairs’ Unicameral update. Bill introduction wrapped up last week, with 593 introduced. The Legislature’s morning business has been devoted to floor debate of...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Rural Health
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
We’re in the third week of Iowa’s legislative session, and the Center for Rural Affairs continues to track bills and the activities that impact rural Iowa. The opening weeks of the session confirmed...
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
For the first time, the Triumph of Ag Exposition will feature an award presented to a veteran in agriculture. According to the organizers, the 2022 show will provide an opportunity to recognize an outstanding farmer veteran who is dedicated to growing a successful farm operation as well as serving our country.
  • Farm and Food
A federal initiative providing a monthly discount on broadband is not being used to its full potential in many states.
  • Small Towns
A lifelong Nebraskan, Becky Parker’s love for rural America began when she was a child. Today, that love remains strong and has blossomed into a passion for helping others see their dreams come true.
  • Small Towns
Iowa's tax credit for installing solar-energy systems is no longer in place, but lawmakers still face pressure to provide payments to those who were on a waiting list. The credit was allowed to expire at the end of 2021 - and with the money set aside for residential installments already spent, those who applied but hadn't been paid were out of luck.
  • Environment
For thousands of farming operations across the country, small grains provide big benefits. Producers growing small grains cite reasons ranging from conservation purposes to the requirements of organic certification to diversification of income streams to taking advantage of local markets.
  • Farm and Food
Last week saw the introduction of more than 200 new bills and resolutions. This week senators began debate on priority bills that have been carried over from the 2021 session. New bills will continue to be introduced this week as well.
  • Farm and Food
  • Rural Health
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns