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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.

The 2022 Iowa legislative session began yesterday, and we are returning to provide legislative updates from a rural perspective. This year’s session is expected to last 100 calendar days, ending in mid-April.
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
Today marks the first day of the 2022 South Dakota legislative session. The Center for Rural Affairs will be tracking policies that affect the rural quality of life and intersect with our goal of building vibrant rural communities.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Hogs have become the heart of Matt and Emely Hendl’s home operation in Milford, Nebraska.
  • Farm and Food
An unused greenhouse and students looking for a service project lined up for a great opportunity. Last spring, Diane Smith, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Mount Marty University, was weighing her...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
If you recently bought meat from a local farmer, you are not alone. Over the past 22 months, millions of Americans quit overpaying at the grocery store and began buying food grown closer to home. This is good news for local livestock producers and the independent meat lockers they partner with.
  • Farm and Food
We are returning to provide legislative updates from a rural perspective. The Nebraska Legislature convened its 2022 session today, Wednesday, Jan. 5. This will be a “short” session—legally mandated to be 60 working days—it is tentatively scheduled to adjourn on April 20.
  • Farm and Food
  • Rural Health
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Below is our agenda for the 2022 Nebraska legislative session. These are items we believe will be debated during the session and for which we have been preparing. As happens every year, there will be...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Below is our agenda for the 2022 Iowa legislative session. These are items we believe will be debated during the session and for which we have been preparing. As happens every year, there will be...
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
It's official! The first day of 2022 is here. We present our most viewed blog post of 2021, authored by Kayla Bergman in January. Featuring one of our board members, this piece takes a look at a...
  • Environment
In our second highest viewed post of 2021, we feature details on applying for forgiveness on the Paycheck Protection Plan loan, a loan that was offered to small business owners as part of COVID-19...
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Today, we share number three in our top five posts countdown, one of our executive director's essays. Brian Depew writes about economic development in rural communities, taking a look at discount...
  • Small Towns
The year in review countdown continues with a blog featuring two entrepreneurs who have worked to open an exercise center with the help of a Center loan. Coming in at number four is a blog on Megan...
  • Small Business
The end of 2021 is near, and what better way to celebrate than to review the top blogs of the year. Starting today through the end of the year, we'll review the five best Center stories of the year...
  • Farm and Food
With the Biden administration focused on addressing climate change, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced plans for the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative.
  • Farm and Food
On a chilly September afternoon, a flock of Targhee/Rambouillet cross sheep quietly wander the grounds of an 18-acre solar garden site in southwestern Minnesota. The sheep are fulfilling a duty known as “solar grazing,” which uses livestock to manage vegetation at solar sites.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
En una fría tarde de septiembre, un rebaño de ovejas cruzadas Targhee/Rambouillet se pasea tranquilamente por los terrenos de un jardín solar de 18 acres en el suroeste de Minnesota. Las ovejas están cumpliendo un deber conocido como "pastoreo solar", que utiliza el ganado para manejar la vegetación en los sitios solares.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
​​​​​​​Advocates for independent rural farmers are urging state lawmakers to beef up mom-and-pop meat processing and storage capacity using American Rescue Plan dollars.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
Farmers around the U.S. are eligible for up to $5,000 in grants to use on projects to grow their operations or to protect farmland.
  • Farm and Food
The Iowa Solar Energy System Tax Credit is expiring at the end of the year, and the state has decided that it will not pay out the credits to applicants currently on the waiting list for residential projects. Applicants, many of whom have waited more than a year, invested in these systems with an expectation of receiving this tax credit, and the state is failing to uphold its side of a deal.
  • Environment
Nearly every Nebraskan is now served by an electric utility committed to supplying clean, sustainable energy.
  • Environment