Fighting for Your Hopes and Dreams for Rural America

Here at the Center for Rural Affairs, we enjoy a good debate. In fact, we encourage it. We don’t expect everyone to agree with us. But we’ve been around for 40 years, working diligently to be an independent voice advocating for public policies and actions that create a better future for family farmers, ranchers, and small towns across all of rural America.

When we have an opinion on a matter we believe is important to rural and small-town America, we express that opinion, as loudly and effectively as we can. We respect the rights of others to voice their opinions, whether they agree with us or not. And we expect that same courtesy from those who want to engage us in debate or dialogue.

We don’t try to represent others. Instead, we work to put our rural and small-town values into action. We do our homework. We research, analyze, study, debate internally, and then advocate for policies and actions we earnestly believe will create a better future for those of us who live and work in and around small towns like Lyons, Nebraska (population 851) all across America.

We’re proud of our home in small-town America. We walk the rural walk and don’t just talk the rural talk. We say what we mean, and we mean what we say. We stand up for what we believe not just when it is easy, not just when it is popular, but more importantly, when it is difficult, and when many forces align against us.

We work with other organizations and institutions when we can, but we guard our independence. We don’t take money from energy companies or others who would try to bend us to their will. But we enjoy the support of churches, foundations, and thousands of individuals who believe in us and the work we have done and our capacity to accomplish even more in years to come.

As I’ve said to many people, I’m a 300 lb Irishman with a loud voice and lot of opinions to give, so I’m by God going to give them. But I have ears too. If you have thoughts, concerns, hopes, or dreams about the future of rural America, we want to hear them. You can reach me at

And give what we have to say a listen as well. Keep the faith, keep fighting, and keep in touch.