Blog Articles & Stories

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

Coffee talk that once revolved around the weather and crops has evolved to include the latest COVID-19 numbers and milling over who got it and how they are doing. When one of the two regular employees...
  • Small Business
The wind energy industry remains one of the fastest growing in the U.S. It has not only increased capacity, but provided consumers and utilities with clean energy while creating additional economic...
  • Environment
This October marks the culmination of two and a half years of hard work by advocates, partners, and the Center for Rural Affairs to expand Medicaid in Nebraska. In summer 2018, we started by asking...
  • Rural Health
Many years ago, my great-great-great-great grandparents, Joseph and Malvina Choquette, built a spare frontier cabin in Salix, Iowa, just south of Sioux City. They came from up north in Canada looking...
  • Small Towns
When the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the U.S., farmers and ranchers faced financial challenges because of market prices. However, farmers are resilient, and Ron Spicka is no exception. A lifelong...
  • Farm and Food
They’ve been chronicling the people, places, and events of small towns for decades—some even 100 years or more. However, as social media, the internet, and other sources of information have come on...
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Small businesses continue to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. While they are doing their best to keep the doors open, they are hurting. That is especially true in our rural towns...
  • Small Business
The derecho storm that hit central and eastern Iowa on Monday, Aug. 10, left a devastating swathe of damage that has residents still reeling. Many people have lost their homes, millions of acres of...
  • Small Towns
The derecho that stormed through central and eastern Iowa on Monday, Aug. 10, left many farmers reeling. Damage spans crop destruction, equipment and building damage, and prolonged power outages. Most...
  • Farm and Food
Nebraska lawmakers took significant steps to improve rural broadband with the passage of Legislative Bills 992 and 996 in the final weeks of an unusual 2020 session, which adjourned Aug. 13. After...
  • Environment
  • Rural Health
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Like many locally-owned businesses in small towns, Old Cottonwood, in Utica, Nebraska, is more than just another store—it’s the hard work, dedication, and dreams of the owners coming to fruition. From...
  • Small Business
For almost four years, Anna Johnson has been the leader of the agricultural policy portfolio at the Center for Rural Affairs. Recently, she shared her thoughts on the Center’s agricultural policy...
  • Farm and Food
For farmers and ranchers who sell to local markets, crop insurance options are limited. This leads many operations to forego crop insurance as a risk management strategy, or to only insure a portion of their crops. If you are a local foods producer who would like to offer feedback or ideas about your crop insurance options, consider attending an upcoming virtual listening session.
  • Farm and Food
Many parts of Nebraska, from the Omaha metro to the panhandle, are faced with slow and unreliable connections. For those left offline the missed opportunities continue to build. Here, we've mapped...
  • Rural Health
  • Small Towns
To say that we live in a challenging time is quite the understatement. For the past several months, almost everyone’s “normal” has been upended. Many of us are spending much more time at home than we...
  • Small Towns
Community responsibility is an often cited virtue in small towns. It is a value rooted in a commitment to neighbor and community. We witnessed it in barn raisings of past generations and in volunteer...
  • Small Towns
Recently a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Halle Ramsey is off and running in her new career with the Center for Rural Affairs. As a business development specialist, Halle coordinates...
  • Small Towns
As a child, Megan Gewecke never missed an opportunity to help others in need. Her desire to assist people eventually led Megan down the mental health career path. She is now a licensed psychologist...
  • Small Business
With the national focus on the widespread impacts of the coronavirus, the normal order of things has been thrown in disarray. Annual appropriations for agricultural programs is no exception. However...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Growing up, Dusty VanRenan and Amanda Meier knew a thing or two about processing their own livestock. Amanda’s family raised cattle, sheep, hogs, and horses near Union, Nebraska, while Dusty’s family...
  • Small Towns