About the Center for Rural Affairs News

Policymakers’ failed actions led to the O’Neill raid

At the Center for Rural Affairs, one of our guiding principles is to promote vibrant rural communities and the people who live here. A cornerstone of any community is safety, stability, and trust.

On Aug. 8 in O'Neill, Nebraska, that sense of community was shaken when 133 agricultural workers were taken from their places of employment and transferred to a detention center more than 100 miles away in Grand Island, leaving their families and children to wonder if their loved ones would ever return.

Staff spotlight: a love of travel, food, and people brought Vanesa to the Center

“Good things don't come to you easily; if you want to achieve your goals in life, you better fight for them, and be prepared to compromise things you love.”

Vanesa Salgado-Perez says her parents’ words of wisdom get her through the days when she’s missing them the most.

Though her family lives in Spain, Vanesa makes her home in Vermillion, South Dakota. One of the newest members of the Center for Rural Affairs team, she serves as a community organizing associate.

Crafting our policy priorities from the roots up

Advocating for policy that builds a stronger, brighter future in rural America is no small feat. At the Center for Rural Affairs, we understand that, to craft this future, we must engage with rural people and communities in all aspects of our work. This principle is part of our core values and purpose; it’s why we work – and live – where you do.

From the desk of the executive director: Growing reach, growing impact

The Center for Rural Affairs makes its home office in Lyons, Nebraska. We built a new office in this northeast Nebraska community of 851 people in 2004.

Since our founding in 1973, putting down roots in a small town in the middle of the country has always been a radical demonstration of our commitment to rural America. Then – and now – rural places face profound challenges. Being part of rural America, and confronting these challenges in our daily life, is truly part of the makeup of the Center.

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