Environment

Rural communities have an abundance of natural resources and often have an intimate connection to them, whether economic or cultural. Elevating the voices of rural people in discussions about their environment is a crucial component of the work we do at the Center for Rural Affairs. Any discussion about the best ways to foster a healthy environment must include a robust public dialogue that involves rural Americans in decisions about their future.

Advocating for strategies to address climate change, facilitate the adoption of clean energy projects, and encourage the conservation of our soil and water resources are just a few ways we help promote stewardship in rural communities. These efforts also set a conscious course to ensure clean air and water, resilient and sustainable food production, and health for future generations.

We are called on to be good stewards of our environment, and we advocate for changes to protect the places we call home, the resources we depend upon, and the way of life we cherish. Empowering rural communities positions them to leave behind a natural legacy that can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Environment Notes

 

Rural Rapport - Facebook Live

Join us each Tuesday at noon for our Facebook Live series, Rural Rapport. Each week, a Center staff member will share a resources and information on a range of topics. 

Can't watch it live? No problem. Watch anytime at facebook.com/ruralaffairs

Here are the topics our staff have presented so far: 

Nebraska Unicameral Update—July 21, 2020

After a nearly four month recess due to COVID-19 concerns, the Nebraska Legislature reconvened its 2020 session on Monday.

Lawmakers returned to the legislative chambers with several safety measures in place, including plexiglass dividers and restrictions on who could be on the floor during the proceedings. Restrictions are also in place for members of the public and lobbyists, who will not be permitted in the balconies of the chamber or the hallway between the west stairs and the clerk’s office. 

Iowa couple recognized with Citizenship Award

Mark Tjelmeland’s interest in conservation can be traced back to his childhood when his mother taught him about topsoil, subsoil, and why topsoil depth differed between locations on his family’s farm. Through school and experiences like these, Mark has been committed to conservation and climate efforts ever since.

He and his wife, Connie, have been farming for almost four decades, and haven’t been afraid to try new things in their operation. Over the years, they have prioritized natural resources and building their climate resiliency through various conservation practices.

Building on-farm resiliency reduces stress in our changing climate

Planting and emergence progress for both corn and soybeans are currently ahead of the five-year average across the Midwest. 

But, still fresh in farmers’ minds is the 2019 planting season, which was severely delayed due to record-breaking precipitation that led to flooded fields and excess soil moisture. 

According to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), on June 2, 2019, corn-producing states had completed only 67 percent of planting. In addition, NASS reported the soybean-producing states had only completed 39 percent. This was compared to 96 percent for corn and 79 percent for soybeans, on average.