Niobrara Nebraska from nearby hill

Blog Articles & Stories

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For nearly half a century, the Center for Rural Affairs has worked toward ensuring a better future for Nebraska’s family farmers and ranchers, new business owners and rural communities.
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Energy costs frequently make up a substantial portion of the monthly expenses for small businesses. This is especially true in rural areas, where energy—the percentage of income spent on energy—is on average higher than in urban areas.
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
Even though Kent Ewing was busy running other businesses, when the residents of Gering, Nebraska, lost their only grocery store, he stepped up to make sure community members had what they needed to get by.
  • Small Business
Frustrated by the lack of internet service for his home in rural Antelope County, Nebraska Mike Tabbert just wanted to find someone who would listen. So, he picked up the phone and started calling every acronym in the book—the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), FTC (Federal Trade Commission), and NTCA (the Rural Broadband Association), as well as his representatives in Lincoln and Washington, D.C.
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Iowa has taken steps to prevent floods following historic disasters in recent decades. At the center of these efforts are local coordinators, working to keep jurisdictions on the same page. Now, a proposal is being offered to better fund these positions. As lawmakers craft the next state budget, they're being asked to include grants for full-time coordinators in areas known as Watershed Management Authorities.
  • Environment
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many Nebraska businesses to shutter, and is forcing others to pause plans for future growth. Nebraska lawmakers are considering proposed updates to the state's Nebraska Advantage Microenterprise Tax Credit Act, originally passed in 2005.
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Each of the past several elections has thrust rural people into the media spotlight. Rural and urban people are divided, the pundits tell us. Neither understands the lives of the other, the news...
  • Small Towns
While Nebraska’s smallest businesses continue to face uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nebraska Legislature’s Revenue Committee had a decision to make. Should they improve a program that incentivizes small business growth and encourages investment and job creation? Or is the better decision to eliminate that program for good?
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Pasar tiempo con la familia es una prioridad para Marina Gómez y sus hijas, Wendy Alfaro y Marta Gómez. Las tres mujeres siempre han apreciado el tiempo que pasaron horneando juntas como familia. Su amor por crear pasteles y confitería es tan fuerte que los llevó a abrir su propio negocio.
  • Small Business
Spending time with family is a top priority for Marina Gomez and her daughters, Wendy Alfaro and Marta Gomez. The three women have always cherished their time baking together as a family. Their love of creating confectionery treats is so strong that it led to them opening their own business.
  • Small Business
Welcome to the Pierre Review. Today is Day 26 of South Dakota’s 37-day legislative session. This Thursday, Feb. 26, is considered “Crossover Day,” the last day to pass bills out of their house of...
  • Environment
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
Bringing rural Iowa to Des Moines The Iowa Legislature just wrapped up week six of its 2021 session, and some key deadlines are approaching quickly. The first funnel, the deadline for a bill to get...
  • Environment
  • Small Towns
Welcome back Mid-February saw a continued flurry of hearings to complement our snowstorms and cold weather. The Center has been following the progress of those bills that relate to rural life. Staff...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The coronavirus pandemic has swept through the U.S., leaving devastation in its wake. In less than a year, our country has suffered the loss of nearly 500,000 souls due to COVID-19. For the first time...
  • Rural Health
  • Small Towns
Before Father Bryce Lungren was a priest, he was a cowboy. Today, he gets to be both. In the early 2000s, while working on a ranch in Montana, Bryce spent his days rounding up cattle, and was engaged...
  • Farm and Food
Earlier this week, extreme weather caused power outages for much of the central United States. Bitter cold led to increased demand for electricity while also forcing significant portions of electric generation offline, leaving millions of people across the Midwest, Great Plains, and Texas in particular without electricity.
  • Environment
After several years assisting the Center for Rural Affairs with its Tribal programs, Kristine Flyinghawk is bringing her community development talents to the Center full time. Recently hired as Native...
  • Small Towns
State regulators ordered an ethanol plant in Mead, Nebraska, to stop producing ethanol from seed corn treated with insecticides and fungicides. The plant had been thrust into the spotlight after local...
  • Farm and Food
“The Salvation of the State is the Watchfulness of the Citizen,” reads an inscription over the main entrance to the Nebraska state Capitol in Lincoln. Democracy needs input from citizens to thrive...
  • Small Towns
For Ryan Collins of Harpers Ferry, Iowa, working on the family farm connects him to both past and future generations. He and his spouse, Samantha, have three children under the age of six and one on...
  • Farm and Food