News Releases

We are committed to keeping the issues facing rural America in the news media. Here you'll find news on the work we do on public policy, farming and ranching, small businesses, and rural communities.

Jessica Cabán was recently hired to serve northeast Nebraska as a loan specialist with the Center for Rural Affairs. Cabán’s role includes working with new and existing small business owners to help them develop business plans, get funding, and receive training. The one-on-one business counseling is provided at no cost.
  • Lending
A new training to help producers explore the transition and economics of certified organic production is set for Aug. 2 and 3 in the Lincoln area, hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, Transition to Organic Partnership Program, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology.
  • Farm and Food
Una nueva capacitación para ayudar a los productores a explorar la transición y la economía de la producción orgánica certificada está programada para el 2 y 3 de agosto en el área de Lincoln, organizada por el Center for Rural Affairs, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, el Programa de Asociación de Transición a lo Orgánico y el Centro Nacional para la Tecnología Apropiada.
  • Farm and Food
Iowa farmers interested in planting cover crops this fall may be eligible to receive a higher cost share for their efforts. Applications are now open for an incentive offered through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Water Quality Initiative.
  • Policy
Bobbi Howard has been hired to serve Nebraska and southwest Iowa as Farm and Community director with the Center for Rural Affairs. Howard comes from a background in workforce development. She supervised field offices across the state as an administrator at the Nebraska Department of Labor and has experience working with nonprofit organizations.
  • Farm and Food
Advances in technology and lower installation costs continue to contribute to the growth of wind electricity generation in the U.S., especially in rural areas. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the cost of installing wind turbines has fallen more than 40% since its peak in 2010.
  • Small Towns
  • Policy
Rural leaders looking to identify grant opportunities to better their communities are invited to attend a free webinar hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs and Heartland Environmental Justice Center.
  • Small Towns
  • Policy
Andi McClintic has been hired to serve Nebraska as Lending Services assistant director with the Center for Rural Affairs. In this role, McClintic collaborates closely with the Center’s loan specialists, assisting them as they work with small business and mortgage clients. The Center provides training, free one-on-one business counseling, and loan products.
  • Lending
  • Small Towns
As renewable energy development grows in rural areas, so do concerns about protecting agricultural land, especially from utility-scale solar projects. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that by 2050 solar will occupy 10.3 million acres of land nationally, 90% of which will be in rural areas. To address concerns about utility-scale solar systems occupying a large amount of prime farmland, some local and state officials have proposed and even placed restrictions prohibiting it.
  • Policy
Several fellows have been chosen for the Center for Rural Affairs’ Beginning Farmer Conservation Fellowship program. Beginning farmers were chosen to deepen their conservation knowledge. Fellows will complete coursework in conservation programs and practices, climate change adaptation and impacts, racial equity, and leadership.
  • Farm and Food
An effort to encourage the installation of solar energy systems has begun as the Minnesota Commerce Department’s Division of Energy Resources opens the application process for the first round of the Solar on Public Buildings grant program.
  • Policy
Applying for federal grants can be challenging for rural communities. With limited resources and staff attention focused on day-to-day duties, dedicating time to the application process is not always feasible. To ensure rural communities are not left out of an unprecedented opportunity to apply for federal grants for infrastructure, energy, and conservation projects through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the Center for Rural Affairs has created two resources to assist with funding pursuits.
  • Small Towns
  • Policy
The Center for Rural Affairs is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $62 million grant to transform solar energy accessibility and affordability in Nebraska. The funding is part of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Solar for All program, a part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund established by the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • Small Towns
As work begins on the 2025 federal budget, the Center for Rural Affairs and 26 partner organizations from across the country are asking Congress for continued support of rural small businesses through the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program (RMAP). Their letter—sent Tuesday to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittees—requests $8 million in funding for the program.
  • Lending
  • Small Towns
  • Farm and Food
The Kearney Area Farmers Market will open Saturday, May 4, offering fresh vegetables, homemade bread, and more. Buffalo County Community Partners and the Center for Rural Affairs are partnering with the market in an effort to raise awareness of the nutritional importance and economic impact access to fresh fruits and vegetables make in the community.
  • Farm and Food
El mercado de agricultores del área de Kearney abrirá el sábado 4 de mayo y ofrecerá verduras frescas, pan casero y más. Buffalo County Community Partners y el Center for Rural Affairs se están asociando con el mercado en un esfuerzo por crear conciencia sobre la importancia nutricional y el impacto económico que tiene el acceso a frutas y verduras frescas en la comunidad.
  • Farm and Food
In its continuing effort to create vibrant rural communities and advocate for issues important to rural residents, the Center for Rural Affairs invites Minnesotans to complete a short survey.
  • Policy
Jillian Linster of Pender, Nebraska, was recently named policy director with the Center for Rural Affairs. Linster joined the Center in May 2023 as the assistant policy director and served as interim policy director before her recent appointment. The Center’s policy work spans the nation and is focused in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota.
  • Small Towns
  • Policy
Red Oak and Montgomery County community members interested in learning more about local foods and connecting with other residents are invited to a public meeting hosted by the Center for Rural Affairs and Red Oak Farmers Market.
  • Small Towns
  • Farm and Food
A new watershed coalition has been established in north central Iowa. The Winnebago River Watershed Management Coalition (WMC) met for the first time this month to kickstart local water quality and flood mitigation efforts.
  • Policy