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.

We were struck recently after reading a study by Anne Case and Angus Deaton of Princeton University. The authors show a concerning trend: the period between 1999 and 2013 saw an increase in mortality of middle-aged white men and women.
  • Policy
Thirteen years ago, Ana Gonzalez wanted to start her own bakery. She had been working from home making cakes for friends and family, but always wanted to have a set location for a shop.
  • Lending
Sadly, for many of us the Holiday season is rife with shopping, travel, crowded airports or highways, and out here on the Great Plains enough cold, wind, snow and ice to make traveling that much more difficult. For many rural and small town Americans, the stress of travel and shopping, which probably involves more travel, is amplified by harsh weather and poor road conditions.
  • Small Towns
Lone Tree Foods is similar to a Food Hub, a producer-owned company that connects local farmers with wholesale buyers. Lone Tree Foods offers products from other local farms and currently works with 30 different farms. A one-stop shop for local items.
  • Small Towns
Since the Center for Rural Affairs began, we have been engaged in the debate over who will steward the land a generation hence. In the last two farm bills, we helped pass new policy to support beginners.
  • Farm and Food
It is amazing how easy it is to explore the world right from the comfort of our living rooms. The internet and expanded access to technology make our small communities part of a global landscape.
  • Small Towns
As 2015 closes, the Clean Power Plan is filed in the Federal Register. The Paris Climate Change Summit has concluded. And a new year is about to begin. What a great time to look at the future of energy and take stock.
  • Policy
On Dec. 7 and 8, an historic meeting took place in Des Moines, Iowa. It wasn’t historic because there were thousands of people there. It wasn’t historic because the people there were famous. For the most part, there wasn’t anyone there who is much more famous (or notorious, depending on perspective) than I am.
  • Farm and Food
On Dec. 17, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued their final rule to define what it means to be actively engaged in farming, and therefore eligible to receive federal farm payments. The final rule made no progress from the proposed rule issued last May.
  • Farm and Food
We applaud the effort in the Clean Energy Incentive Program to reinforce the critical role of renewable energy in the Clean Power Plan and in our communities, especially by prioritizing low-income energy efficiency investments. The program incentivizes early investments and puts the well-being of people and communities first.
  • Policy
Have you heard about the Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Food Business Growth Project aimed at five counties in northeast Nebraska? What exactly does it mean? We invite you to dream with us on a food...
  • Farm and Food
Twyla Hansen grew up on a farm just outside of Lyons, and, for the first time since being appointed State Poet of Nebraska, she returned there to do a reading and presentation about the stories of her native place.
  • Small Towns
After 13 years of living in the same house, my family and I recently packed up all our belongings and moved a few miles down the road to the family farm where my husband was born and raised.
  • Small Towns
Hintz Produce is a diversified farm with row crops, cow/calf and seedstock production, produce in high tunnel production and conventional outdoors.
  • Small Towns
Pekarek’s Produce raises over 50 varieties of crops on approximately 13 acres. The harvest season begins in April or early May with radishes, green onions, lettuce, and spinach. During the summer, the main crops are cole crops; several types of peas, bulb onions, carrots, green and wax beans, zucchini, summer squash, beets, potatoes and cucumbers.
  • Small Towns
The Center for Rural Affairs Farm to School Program recently participated in the Pathways to Careers Conference held by Nebraska FFA. Both FFA advisors and students came to the Center for Rural Affairs session to learn more about Farm to School programs and resources.
  • Small Towns
I remember smelling pork or beef roasting, or chocolate cake baking in the halls of my high school. Nothing went to waste either. The leftover sauerkraut from “Build Your Own Hotdog” was used in the...
  • Small Towns
In what brings to mind the ashes-to-rebirth legend of the mythological Phoenix, statutes prohibiting corporate farming in North Dakota and meatpacker ownership of livestock in Nebraska are both fighting for survival.
  • Farm and Food
The final report of a Center for Rural Affairs Task Force on Nebraska tax reform is as relevant today as when it was published in January 1992. In fact, when Traci Bruckner testified to the Nebraska Legislature Revenue and Education Committee in November on changes to the state's tax system for the Center, she referenced the task force report.
  • Small Towns
Wow, $10,335 in one week. Newman’s Own Foundation matched $10,000 of that, so $20,335 was raised for the betterment of rural America. This is the most successful online fundraiser we’ve ever held, and...
  • Small Towns