What If Rural Really Mattered?

In this series we have talked about a few farms, towns, and counties, and the people who live and work there, that give a glimpse of what it would look like if rural really mattered. This month we examine what might cause such a sea change.

If rural America really mattered, there would be a lot more people like Linus Solberg and Greg Brokaw living there.

Essay: Technical College Emphasizes Entrepreneurship and Business

Teachers who know about entrepreneurship, students graduating with a business plan in hand – this is innovative rural leadership

Weldon Sleight could teach universities and government agencies some things about serving rural people. Sleight heads the College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis, Nebraska, which has taught generations of students on subjects ranging from production agriculture to veterinary science. Recently he made some farsighted changes.

House Payment Limitations

U.S. House Agriculture Committee members claim they tightened payment limitations in their farm bill. In fact they kept unlimited multi-million dollar loan deficiency payments made when crop prices are low and raised the limit on direct payments made regardless of crop prices.


Nebraska holds I-300 hearings to examine implications for the future; Iowa turns down several large hog confinement proposals

>> In 2007 the Nebraska Legislature enacted Legislative Resolution 93, introduced by Senator Phil Erdman, in response to Nebraska’s constitutional regulation of corporate farming being declared unconstitutional in federal court. This was an Interim Study Resolution to “examine implications for the future structure, development, and progress of agricultural production in Nebraska.”

What I Learned at the Center - Liz Lesher

Liz Lesher was a summer intern, working with our policy and outreach teams. Liz is a senior at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, majoring in Religion and Biblical Literature. She is originally from Columbus, Ohio. Here is what Liz had to say about her time at the Center.

I spent 10 weeks working at the Center for Rural Affairs. I’ve learned more than I could have imagined about the complex economics that affect rural communities and more than I’d like to know about how hogs are slaughtered. I’ve learned that politics isn’t about the best policy. I’ve heard politicians evade questions so well you would think they were paid to do it.


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