About the Center for Rural Affairs News

Staff spotlight: Erin’s journey brought her from the Sunshine State to small-town living

Many Nebraskans long for a break from the harsh, Plains winters, and travel to warm, sunny climates to find it. Erin Mockler, however, did the opposite.

“I grew up in a small town in Florida,” said Mockler. “My entire childhood, I had a desire to move to a climate with more seasonal changes, so when I became an adult, I moved to Nebraska.”

And, we’re glad she did.

One of the newest members of the Center for Rural Affairs team, Mockler is a staff accountant. She lives in Lyons and works from the Center’s main office, and is happy about her new, more rural, home.

Childhood experiences spark lifelong passion for rural living

Rural places are close to my heart because I have seen the value of them firsthand. I am from Monticello, Iowa, which is a town of about 4,000 people, three stop lights, and one grocery store. Growing up, driving 35 minutes to see a movie used to frustrate me. But, as I’ve gotten older, I have truly been able to see the value of my town and what the way of life contributes to people.

From the desk of the executive director: Where have all the bankers gone?

The Center for Rural Affairs first examined consolidation in the banking industry in a 1978 report, “Where Have All the Bankers Gone?”. We have long understood the critical link between credit, who has access, who doesn’t, and how it shapes communities.

That’s why a recent report in the Wall Street Journal caught my eye. It detailed how banking in rural communities has fared in the years since the financial crisis. 

Your 2018 Advocacy Toolkit

Do you know what happens in September 2018? The entire federal farm bill expires.

That means the end of critical programs that support beginning farmers, conservation, and small town development, unless we act now to urge Congress to renew them with a new farm bill this year. This action kit outlines critical priorities for farm bill renewal.

Value of rural communities weighed at conference

What do you love about rural communities? We asked attendees of the Practical Farmers of Iowa’s annual conference last month, when they stopped by our Center for Rural Affairs booth.

“Neighbors invest their time, talents, and equipment to improve my farm, and vice versa.”

“The ability/willingness of the community to come together in times of need.”

“Connections and supporting small businesses.”

“Close-knit community of friends.”

“Farmer wave.”

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