Blog Articles & Stories

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

UPDATE Tuesday, June 16: The application process for Small Business Stabilization Grants for Livestock Producers has been paused until Monday, June 22. Applications will not be accepted during this...
  • Small Business
Wiping out the last five years of solar job growth, the COVID-19 pandemic has reset total employment in the U.S. solar industry back to 2014 levels. As recently as 2019, the solar industry employed...
  • Environment
For almost two decades, Luis Salinas and his brothers Jose and Cristobal Salinas have been serving up fan favorites at their restaurant, Burrito House, in Schuyler, Nebraska.
  • Small Business
Northeast Nebraska and nonprofit organizations—Shelby Ostrand is a fan of both, and a stranger to neither. Recently hired as the Center for Rural Affairs’ marketing and communications associate...
  • Small Towns
Mark Tjelmeland’s interest in conservation can be traced back to his childhood when his mother taught him about topsoil, subsoil, and why topsoil depth differed between locations on his family’s farm...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has opened up applications for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which offers producers of many commodities payments if they experienced a price...
  • Farm and Food
Planting and emergence progress for both corn and soybeans are currently ahead of the five-year average across the Midwest. But, still fresh in farmers’ minds is the 2019 planting season, which was...
  • Environment
Though growing up in Lomé, the capital of Togo, West Africa, meant farm life was unfamiliar to Irene Atayi, it didn’t stop her from developing a love of growing plants.
  • Farm and Food
With Congress in gridlock over future stimulus spending during the coronavirus pandemic, small businesses with loans through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program, or RMAP, still have not received any financial help.
  • Small Business
The Iowa Legislature suspended its session on March 15 as a precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19. But, this week, that suspension ends and the Legislature is set to resume on Wednesday, June 3...
  • Environment
Las manifestaciones estallaron en muchas ciudades del país en la última semana cuando la gente reaccionó al asesinato sin sentido de George Floyd a manos de la policía. Es otro capítulo en una larga historia de racismo en nuestro país.
  • Small Towns
Demonstrations erupted in many cities across the country in the past week as people reacted to the senseless killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police. It is yet another chapter in a long history of racism in our country.
  • Small Towns
Each year, the Bob Steffen Pioneer Award is bestowed by the Center for Rural Affairs to a person who works to make extraordinary contributions in building community engagement within their own...
  • Small Towns
Farmers can start applying for emergency aid approved by Congress in response to COVID-19. But federal agriculture officials aren't ready to cover all commodities just yet.
  • Farm and Food
Every Iowan lives in a watershed and, for years, rural Iowans have grappled with challenges posed by intense flooding and poor water quality. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we believe rural people should have a seat at the table where decisions are made that impact their communities—water management decisions are no exception.
  • Environment
The Midwest has a bright future in solar energy. A combination of residential, community, and utility-scale projects have led to a significant increase in solar capacity across the country...
  • Environment
From an early age, Yomara Hernandez helped her mother make fabric flowers for bridal bouquets, and decorations for weddings with natural and artificial flowers. Her mother used to sell them as...
  • Small Business
South Dakotans are struggling with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and some are finding it difficult even to pay for essential services, such as electricity and water. Some utility...
  • Small Towns
Climate change presents a steep challenge for rural America. Fortunately, rural communities are full of people who are committed to addressing climate change. We've mapped a few stories on climate...
  • Environment
Before the days of quarantine and self-isolation, many people left their small communities to purchase their groceries. Consumers may not have known what their rural grocery offers, and may not have been getting as much bang for their buck. Instead, they were considering convenience, product availability, competitive pricing, or additional services.
  • Small Towns