Blog Articles & Stories

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

As more people are spending time at home as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, access to reliable electricity has been essential in enabling the continuation of numerous activities. This resource has...
  • Environment
The deadline for farmers and ranchers to apply to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is quickly approaching. Application deadlines vary by state, so interested producers should contact their...
  • Farm and Food
When Suzi French helps people grow plants in their gardens, she’s also helping them build businesses from the ground up. A community food associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, Suzi has been...
  • Small Towns
The economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 threatens the long-term prosperity of small businesses in our communities. The initial government action falls short of what our communities need. The CARES...
  • Small Business
  • Small Towns
The coronavirus pandemic remains the focus of policymakers as they look to reduce the impact of the global outbreak. While those important actions play out, other key programs, including one that helps Iowa farmers implement conservation practices, are continuing.
  • Farm and Food
Local and state governments across the U.S. are joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's call to categorize farmers markets as essential businesses. The move would ensure that the markets remain open, just like grocery stores, during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Major crises often expose the weaknesses that have been in our system for a long time. Before the COVID-19 pandemic began putting substantial stress on the health care system, it was already under...
  • Rural Health
As of Thursday, April 16, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) had reached the maximum loan limit authorized by Congress, just 14 days...
  • Small Business
The idea of a large institution using local foods to supplement their day-to-day meal services sounds next to impossible. But, it’s not.
  • Small Towns
As millions are socially distancing, the work of agriculture has not stopped, although in many ways it has shifted. For farmers who have been considering applying for Natural Resources Conservation...
  • Farm and Food
The winters in northeast Nebraska can be harsh—we face bitterly cold temps, and are buried in snow for months on end. Those of us tough enough to stick it out are rewarded by Mother Nature’s gift of...
  • Farm and Food
“Veto Day”—South Dakota’s last legislative day—was held March 30, and due to social distancing restrictions, legislators met electronically to wrap-up the session. In addition to regular end-of...
  • Small Towns
While local control is a value often touted by decision-makers in South Dakota, the newly passed Senate Bill 157 undercuts the ability of citizens to meaningfully participate in decisions regarding...
  • Small Towns
More than just a day spa, the mission of Rosa Maria Brooks’ business is to help people create and maintain an optimal lifestyle, supporting, inspiring, and encouraging through therapeutic massage and...
  • Small Business
Al frente de la crisis de salud pública debido al coronavirus, el congreso aprobó un paquete de estímulo económico el viernes 27 de marzo, llamado el Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. La ley proporciona niveles sin precedentes de fondos de ayuda a individuos e industrias, incluyendo una variedad de apoyos para la agricultura.
  • Farm and Food
In the face of our public health crisis due to the coronavirus, Congress passed a stimulus package on March 27—The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—which provides unprecedented levels of aid funds to individuals and industries, including a variety of supports for agriculture.
  • Farm and Food
Agriculturists are no strangers to challenging times. Be it floods or droughts, labor or labeling, farmers and ranchers face fresh battles daily, and they become masters of adapting as they ride out...
  • Farm and Food
  • Small Towns
Like in much of rural Nebraska, residents in the Cedar Bluffs school district, particularly farm land owners, have been tremendously strained by combined forces of rising agricultural land values, low...
  • Small Towns
Lunch special? Thirsty Thursdays? With the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses, more than ever, need to continue with a marketing strategy and plan. Why? It’s a vital part to maintain steady sales to...
  • Small Business
Battling a tough farm economy and increasingly unpredictable weather, farmers are often looking for ways to reduce costs on their operations. One strategy is leveraging the affordability of solar...
  • Environment