About the Center for Rural Affairs News

Award winners fight for food security in rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs prides itself on bringing communities together through innovation, stewardship, and community development.

By connecting with individuals who make extraordinary contributions in building community engagement within their own communities, the Center can continue to expand its work and help better rural America.

Staff spotlight: Anna’s sights set on small business training

Born and raised on a cattle ranch near a small town in southeastern Idaho, Anna Pratt learned to drive on country back roads, charged purchases to a tab at local farm supply stores, and took part in the challenges and rewards of a family-owned business.

In other words, she’s no stranger to rural America.

A new member of the Center for Rural Affairs team, Anna is the Women’s Business Center director, and is excited about her new role.

Learning is a lifelong endeavor for Center staff member

Since 2015, Suzi French has been a valuable member of the Center for Rural Affairs team, and, recently, she just became even more of an asset to the Center’s work. 

As a community foods associate working alongside the Omaha Tribe in Walthill, Nebraska, Suzi focuses on assisting residents who live on the Omaha Reservation. She helps people plan and start their gardens, as well as guides them in building a business from their home gardens, all while bringing the community together.

Staff spotlight: Kate returns to the Heartland

When I was a kid, my mother always told me I was a “good mix of good things.” It was the kind of sweet phrase that someone tells a child to boost their confidence. Sometimes, she meant it to say I was a good mix of traits from both of my parents. Other times, she would use it to pick me up when I was down—like on the many occasions that I tried, and failed, at a new sport; “you’re a good mix of a lot of good things, this just isn’t one of them.”

Staff spotlight: Rural America is in Sandra’s past, present, and future

Sandra Renner has spent nearly five years focusing on a variety of work, all with one thing in common—assisting rural Nebraskans.

Newly appointed as the Farm and Community Program director for the Center for Rural Affairs, Sandra began as a project associate within that program, and has since immersed herself in everything from outreach and promotion to grant writing to project management surrounding food systems work.

In her new role, she plans to stay just as active in her quest to help better rural America.

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