Niobrara Nebraska from nearby hill

Blog Articles & Stories

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

Owner of Blossom Beauty Salon in Grand Island, Nebraska, Veronica’s specialty is nails—manicures, pedicures, and more. Her sister, Angeles Nuñez, does nails in the salon as well, and Veronica rents the four hair-styling stations to local stylists, making her business a full-service salon.
  • Small Business
The Center for Rural Affairs’ staff and board work toward bettering rural America. From helping small businesses with financing and training to giving family farms a leg up against larger operations...
  • Small Towns
The legislative session in Nebraska is working its way toward its conclusion, likely in early June. Two priority bills from the Center saw significant developments since our last update.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The little blue house sits in the middle of a block, the second in a row of four homes. Two chairs and a small table on the front porch invite friends and neighbors to drop by for a visit. The porch...
  • Small Towns
Communities throughout Minnesota have recently gone through the process of getting solar projects nearly to the finish line only to be stalled by interconnection challenges. Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a record year for solar installation with a 43% increase over 2019.
  • Environment
Las comunidades de Minnesota han pasado recientemente por el proceso de lograr que los proyectos solares casi lleguen a la línea de meta solo para quedar estancados por los desafíos de interconexión.
  • Environment
In late April, Nebraska’s 2021 Leopold Conservation Award was presented to the Switzer family of Loup County. The family was recognized by Gov. Pete Ricketts in a ceremony at the capitol.
  • Environment
On Jan. 27, President Biden signed an executive order about tackling climate change. In response, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sought comments on how their agency should take action on...
  • Environment
For decades Iowans have led the nation in innovating our way to a cleaner, more reliable power grid that promotes public health and economic prosperity in our rural communities.
  • Environment
Dollar General has become a ubiquitous feature of America’s small towns. The discount retailer is opening new stores at a rate of 1,000 a year. There are now more than 16,000 spread across the country...
  • Small Towns
After retiring from a career in education that took him all around the world, then settling in Red Cloud, Nebraska, Jay Hall found the Center for Rural Affairs through a good friend. He believed in...
  • Small Towns
As a railroad engineer, Tanner Connell worked long days and was constantly on call, stuck by his phone at all hours. After 12 years, he’d had enough, and decided to become his own boss. Trucking had...
  • Small Business
Welcome again to your update on the Nebraska Legislature. The past two weeks saw continued success for bills supported by the Center. Legislative Bill (LB) 366, a bill to improve the Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit passed the first round of debate nearly without opposition (41-1 vote).
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Nearly five months after the start of the 2021 legislative session, state lawmakers are approaching the finish line. As lawmakers finalize their budgets and wrap up the session, 47 bills have already been signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
I was born in rural Nebraska in the mid-1980s during a farm crisis. I would learn later in life that my family was fortunate enough to make ends meet with a combination of corn, soybeans, and 60 head of beloved Holstein cattle.
  • Small Towns
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed new challenges for rural Iowans in the past year, it has renewed calls for improved services to ensure a resilient future. With the introduction of his first...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
You have a great idea for a new small business. Congratulations! Now, what do you do to turn that idea into a legitimate business? To celebrate National Small Business Week, May 2 to 8, 2021, here is...
  • Small Business
Bumble bees are a charismatic and easily recognizable pollinator thanks to their loud buzz, fuzzy appearance, and distinct color patterns.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Renewable energy projects are gaining momentum. Utility-scale solar and wind projects have continued to proliferate across the rural landscape as these sources of electricity have become more cost-effective than traditional fossil fuels.
  • Environment
Ya sea por cierres de empleo o falta de clientes, la pandemia de coronavirus ha dejado innumerables negocios cerrados y personas sin trabajo. Claudia Escobedo y su esposo se encontraron en esa situación, pero han sacado lo mejor de las malas circunstancias.
  • Small Business