Niobrara Nebraska from nearby hill

Blog Posts & Stories

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

From volunteering in her church to donating homegrown fresh produce to her neighbors, Candi Benge demonstrates extraordinary commitment to serving her community every day. For her commitment to helping others, Candi has been chosen to receive the Center for Rural Affairs 2023 Rural Community Champion Award.
  • Small Towns
As we look ahead to what could only be four weeks remaining in the 2024 Iowa legislative session, the focus turns almost solely to floor debate in both chambers. Work for the Appropriations and Ways & Means committees continues full steam ahead this week. The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met on Friday, March 15.
  • Policy
No todo el mundo tiene la suerte de tener la oportunidad de hacer de su pasatiempo infantil una carrera de tiempo completo. Pero Cody Cahill ha trabajado en automóviles toda su vida y ahora le pagan por hacer lo que ama.
  • Lending
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to make their childhood hobby a full-time career. But Cody Cahill has been working on cars his whole life, and now he gets paid to do what he loves.
  • Lending
With 16 days left in the Nebraska Legislature’s 2024 session, the Center’s priority bill— Legislative Bill (LB) 1116 , the Nebraska Grocer Reinvestment Option (GRO) Act—is not expected to advance out...
  • Policy
El Center for Rural Affairs es una organización sin fines de lucro que trabaja para crear comunidades rurales vibrantes. Abogamos por los residentes rurales en temas importantes para ellos, como políticas estatales y federales, programas de ley agrícola, desarrollo económico, energía limpia y compromiso cívico.
  • Small Towns
  • Policy
The Center for Rural Affairs is a nonprofit organization working to create vibrant rural communities. We advocate for rural residents on issues important to them, such as state and federal policy, farm bill programs, economic development, clean energy, and civic engagement.
  • Small Towns
  • Policy
The Heartland Environmental Justice Center (HEJC) is a first-stop resource for communities seeking help with pressing environmental and energy equity challenges. We offer no-cost, customized support...
  • Small Towns
Small business owners in Nebraska in search of financial assistance need look no further. The Nebraska Small Business Assistance Act (NSBAA) Program is now available to support individuals looking to...
  • Lending
Local farmers markets, direct-market farmers, and farm stands that are not registered to accept benefits or vouchers from customers might be leaving money on the table. Three of these benefits are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).
  • Farm and Food
The 2024 South Dakota legislative session is coming to a close. Monday was the last day for bills to pass both houses. The 38-day legislative session will officially conclude on March 25, which is reserved for gubernatorial vetoes.
  • Policy
Samantha Goodbird has a reputation for building strong relationships, managing projects, and helping others succeed. She recently brought her talents to the Center as the Center's humna resources manager. Some of the main roles in human resources management include hiring and training people, and developing policies and strategies to retain them. But the position is much more than procedures and paperwork.
  • Small Towns
The expansion of wind generation has been, and continues to be, a boon for rural development. Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing sources of electricity across the nation. A handful of Midwest states like Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota are leading the charge in its development, according to recent reports from the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • Policy
Over the past couple of weeks, Iowa legislators have spent hours debating bills on the floor. Week nine of the 2024 session will look the same as we approach the second funnel, the March 15 deadline by which bills must pass through one chamber and out of a committee in the opposite chamber to remain alive.
  • Policy
Effective communication between patients and health care providers is a key ingredient to ensuring all Nebraskans receive vital services. For some residents, establishing that relationship is difficult because of a language barrier.
  • Small Towns
  • Policy
Sandro Lopes feels the most important thing people can do when farming is to care for the soil and environment. Originally from Brazil, Sandro now lives and farms in David City, Nebraska. His speciality is growing microgreens, and he enjoys sharing his methods with others so they can try their hand at growing their own crops.
  • Farm and Food
Sandro Lopes considera que lo más importante que la gente puede hacer en la agricultura es cuidar el suelo y el medio ambiente. Originario de Brasil, Sandro ahora vive y cultiva en David City, Nebraska. Su especialidad es el cultivo de microvegetales y le gusta compartir sus métodos con otras personas para que puedan intentar cultivar sus propios cultivos.
  • Farm and Food
Happy Statehood Day! It was on March 1, 1867, that President Andrew Johnson signed the proclamation to admit Nebraska as the 37th state in the Union. Since our last update, hearings for legislative bills introduced this session have wrapped up, and the Legislature will begin full-day floor debate next week. Much of the focus before the session’s adjournment—tentatively set for April 18—will be on priority bills.
  • Policy
Growing up, I spent most of my time outdoors, whether at my grandparents’ small farm, camping, participating in Girl Scouts, or at various other conservation advocacy activities. From a young age, I had a strong passion for environmental stewardship and working to mitigate climate change.
  • Small Towns
  • Policy
The path of a small business owner is full of ups and downs, but few things are as satisfying as being able to look back and see how far your business has come and what you’ve built. Making the decision to retire is not easy for most, and it comes with many questions that need to be answered. Namely, what will happen to the business?
  • Lending