Blog Articles & Stories

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

With dreams of becoming successful entrepreneurs, Eduardo and Mary Rosa Morales opened their photography business, Venemex Productions, in Columbus, Nebraska, in 2008.
  • Small Business
Like many farmers, Dan Taylor of Dallas County, Iowa, is adjusting to the new reality under coronavirus. Thankfully, his family has not been touched by the virus, and he is moving forward with planting and conservation practices he had planned for this year.
  • Farm and Food
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released details about its new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for farmers hit by the impacts of the coronavirus Tuesday. The final rule, including...
  • Farm and Food
Pender Public Schools has almost the same number of students and uses the same buildings it did nearly 20 years ago. In that time frame, outside factors ranging from a major recession to skyrocketing...
  • Small Towns
Across Iowa, solar is in the midst of an unprecedented industry boom. Installed solar energy has grown rapidly from two megawatts in 2012 to about 115 megawatts today, according to the Energy Information Administration.
  • Environment
While states are beginning to reopen in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are still hurting. They will be for some time. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act...
  • Small Business
I’ve worked from home for many years, and I have some pretty serious homesteading tendencies. I’m an extrovert, but I’ve built a lifestyle for myself that happily keeps me home most of the time. All that said, when COVID-19 really began to affect this country, although my day-to-day actions didn’t take much of a hit, my mental health went down fast, and my focus and energy dwindled. Social media seemed more addictive and toxic than ever, and I felt hope and purpose crawl under a rock. Bye-bye now.
  • Small Towns
The Center for Rural Affairs represents all rural citizens—specifically with state and federal policy on farm bill programs, clean energy, water quality, small businesses, health care access, and broadband.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
From major weather events to trade wars, our country’s farmers and ranchers are no strangers to adversity. Today, like many others in the world, farmers and ranchers are facing a time of uncertainty as a result of the coronavirus global pandemic.
  • Farm and Food
Sarah Sortum always hoped to raise her kids on the family ranch in Nebraska’s eastern Sandhills. She shares this goal with her brother, as the two want to ensure the ranch’s vitality for generations...
  • Farm and Food
You can count on our relentless commitment to you and your business during this unpredictable time. I want to let you know about our Express Loans. Qualifying loans may be eligible for up to six...
  • Small Business
South Dakota’s solar industry is poised for significant growth as a result of two proposed utility-scale solar energy construction projects. The first of their kind in South Dakota, the projects in...
  • Environment
As lawmakers consider legislation to address the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, a group of 65 small business lenders, including the Center for Rural Affairs, across 32 states are...
  • Small Business
The electric grid in the U.S. was created to provide reliable electricity to consumers. Typically, this meant that most U.S. consumers relied on the grid to carry power from centrally-located fossil...
  • Environment
While COVID-19 has disrupted our daily activities and lifestyles, including suspending the Iowa legislative session, it gives elected officials more time to consider HSB 657/SSB 3116 to fund the Iowa Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, also known as IWILL.
  • Environment
The bread and butter of rural communities are small businesses and the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting challenges that are out of their control. There’s one tool that may be able to help—the Paycheck...
  • Small Business
For Charlie and Aaron Johnson, family farming takes on a very literal meaning. The cousins work together alongside Charlie’s brothers, Allan and Kevin, and Charlie’s son, Jordan, to operate a combined nearly 3,000 acres in Madison, South Dakota.
  • Farm and Food
Meatpacking plants across the country have become COVID-19 hotspots, and the struggles faced by the people working inside are apparent and alarming. Our friends and neighbors are being asked to risk...
  • Small Towns
Climbing into the combine, I am met with a dashboard of dusty screens and controls. The beeps and notifications remind me data is being recorded as I collect crops. As the combine moves along, I keep...
  • Farm and Food
Looking for ways to stay connected with others who share the same interests and hobbies? If you’re interested in pollinators, the Center for Rural Affairs has many opportunities for you in 2020. We...
  • Farm and Food