Blog Articles & Stories

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

Center for Rural Affairs board member Nancy Meyer and her husband, Alan, of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, decided to use their time at home during the pandemic to make use of an old cattle cistern on their farmstead.
  • Environment
Welcome back to the Center for Rural Affairs Unicameral Update. Last week marked the end of the introduction of new bills in the Nebraska Legislature. This week an adjusted hearing schedule starts...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Welcome to the Pierre Review! Today is Day 10 of South Dakota’s 37-day legislative session, which will conclude March 29. All bills need to be introduced by Feb. 4 (Legislative Day 16) and must pass...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The Iowa Legislature began its 2021 legislative session on Monday, Jan. 11. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working diligently to track bills and follow the activities of the...
  • Environment
A lifetime of being an educator and advocate for rural America has provided Leverne “Vern” Barrett with wisdom and knowledge well beyond what most of us could imagine. Since 2009, he’s lent his voice...
  • Small Towns
In late December, Congress passed the Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020. A lot has happened in the time since, but we believe this legislation deserves a second look. As a joint COVID-19 relief...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans program provide relief to help businesses keep their workforce employed and cover normal operating expenses during the COVID-19...
  • Small Business
With states across the Midwest continuing to embrace the economic potential of renewable energy, project developers and landowners have the ability to work together to explore opportunities for investments in conservation, according to three new reports released by the Center for Rural Affairs.
  • Environment
A new president takes office today. A new Congress is seated. There will be a new leader at the Department of Agriculture. Ten months into a pandemic, change is everywhere in Washington. The stakes...
  • Farm and Food
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have encountered a great deal of conflict, particularly those that are new or relatively new. Even without a global health crisis, not many people...
  • Small Business
Iowa is among the top states when it comes to the number of organic farms in operation, but producers have long struggled to obtain crop insurance that can better protect them from losses. A new initiative aims to help close these gaps.
  • Farm and Food
Nebraska lawmakers are considering a bill to provide some relief for meat supply chains by allowing consumers to purchase smaller ownership shares of livestock. Aunbrea Zeleny with the Oakland Meat Processing Plant said Legislative Bill 324 would help more Nebraskans who have struggled to find meat at grocery stores during the coronavirus pandemic access food from trusted local sources
  • Farm and Food
There are a whole host of risks involved with farming and ranching; from weather conditions, to market changes, to all of the surprises that 2020 had in store. Managing risk has never been more important, and for many, crop insurance is a central risk management tool.
  • Farm and Food
Dentro de las plantas de empaque en toda nuestra nación, los trabajadores continúan sin suficiente equipo de protección personal o PPE; no tiene suficiente espacio para cumplir con el distanciamiento social; y siguen preocupándose por lo que les pueda pasar.
  • Small Towns
Inside packing plants throughout our nation, workers continue to lack enough personal protective equipment, or PPE; don’t have enough space for social distancing; and continue to worry about what is going to happen to them.
  • Small Towns
2020 was a difficult year for everyone, for a multitude of reasons. Of the many challenges that came to national attention throughout the year, perhaps the most apparent was the lack of civil...
  • Small Towns
The Unicameral convened its long, 90-day, session on Jan. 4, and is scheduled to adjourn June 10. This week, bills began to be introduced and committee chairpersons named. Each bill introduced will be...
  • Farm and Food
Welcome to the Pierre Review! Jan. 12 was the first day of the 2021 South Dakota legislative session. The Center for Rural Affairs will be monitoring policies that affect the rural quality of life and...
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
On Monday, Jan. 11, the Iowa Legislature gaveled in for the 2021 legislative session. As we have done for years, we remain committed to providing you with objective, fact-based updates on the...
  • Environment
  • Rural Health
  • Small Towns
Beginning and established farmers alike have long sought out assistance from the Center for Rural Affairs. With a variety of programs directed at starting and maintaining small family farms, the...
  • Farm and Food