News

We're in the Wrong Business

We’ve mentioned before that Southern elected representatives (plus California) are the biggest obstacle to strong, effective payment limitations. The single most important reason for this is that the primary Southern crops- cotton and rice- receive much higher per-acre payments than the other three big program crops (corn, soybeans, wheat). How much higher is something that is not always clear. The EWG database that details payments to producers is great, but it doesn’t get into the differen

Floor Rumblings

Two points today on some floor rumblings...  One current, and a couple of interviews I should have noted a while back.

Fortenberry Steps Up

For the past several months, the House Agriculture Committee has opposed any and all attempts to make substantial changes to farm programs. Members of the committee hate proposals to substantially revise farm programs supported by those not on the committee , and it appears a majority of the committee members won't even support common-sense payment limitations of the sort proposed by leading members of the Senate Agriculture Committee. And in subcommittee work a few weeks ago, a five-year extension of current farm programs was passed.

Happy 4th!

This being the 4th of July, I thought it would be worthwhile to post one of the best rural pieces I have read in my time at the Center for Rural Affairs (almost a year… wow). While I have worked here, I have had many people assume that the Center for Rural Affairs works only on farm and agricultural issues. We do spend a lot of time on those issues, but our mission is to advocate for all rural people and all rural places- especially the Great Plains region, where we began and where we work and live today.

What Would It Look Like If Rural America Really Mattered?

This is the third in our continuing series of articles about successes in rural America — this time sharing Elkader, Iowa’s story

If rural communities mattered as much as they should, not more, not less, but just as much as they deserve, there would be a wholesale shift in how rural economic development gets done in rural America. Donelle Eller’s recent Des Moines Register article (Businesses help spark rural revitalization – Iowa’s Rural Economy: Increased Investment Brings Optimism, June 10, 2007) discusses at length the progress that Elkader, a community of 1,500 in Northeast Iowa, has had with rural revitalization.

Eller reports that Elkader has attracted new residents and businesses from across the nation.

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