Valenzuela named to Center for Rural Affairs Board

Small Towns

Teresa Hoffman, senior communications associate, 402.687.2100, ext. 1012,

DECATUR, NEBRASKA – Steele Valenzuela, of Decatur, Nebraska, has been appointed to the Center for Rural Affairs Board of Directors.

The Center for Rural Affairs is a private, nonprofit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action-oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

“Steele is passionate about a thriving rural America and making sure communities are inclusive to all, especially Latino and Native American residents,” said Brian Depew, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs. “We look forward to his experience and knowledge on our Board of Directors.”

Valenzuela’s dad is from a small farming village in Mexico and his mom grew up in Macy, on the Omaha Reservation. He grew up in Decatur, and was introduced to the Center with an internship at age 16.

“I’m really proud of where my parents are from, and in turn, where I’m from, and how I contribute to my community with my perspective,” he said. “As an intern, I appreciated everybody’s opinion and passion on issues that were larger than themselves, yet also directly impacted them.”

For the past seven years, Valenzuela has worked as a biostatistician at Oregon Health & Science University. He works remotely from his home in Decatur, Nebraska.. His portfolio and scientific publications have consisted of policy evaluation of health insurance, such as patients who have Medicaid, Medicare, and even no health insurance, and how they use their health care.

“Advocating for folks in rural areas, either through legislation, supporting businesses, and very recently, learning that the Center provides housing loans, shows that the Center is invested in society,” Steele said. “I admire the Center’s desire to continue to grow and make partnerships in all avenues, as well as the ambitious and involved Board members. I hope to keep learning from everyone.”

Valenzuela is serving a three-year term on the Center for Rural Affairs Board of Directors.