Center for Rural Affairs executive director honored for 10 years of employment

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Brian Depew, Center for Rural Affairs executive director,, 402.687.2100 ext 1015; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager,, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

Lyons, Neb. - Brian Depew was recognized for 10 years of employment at the Center for Rural Affairs’ annual award ceremony in March.

Depew, now executive director, was hired as a policy associate in 2006. He then served as assistant director and acting executive director before the board appointed him as executive director in September 2013.

“Brian uses his skills as a listener to guide his decisions,” said Vern Barrett, president of the Center for Rural Affairs board. “Brian is an intelligent innovator that is not afraid to make the tough decisions for the good of the Center.”

Depew is the third leader of the Center for Rural Affairs in the organization’s 43-year history.

“I know it sounds cliché, but I really do feel I’m very lucky,” Depew said. “I have the best job in the world.”

Under Depew’s leadership, the Center surpassed $15 million in loans to small businesses in the history of its loan program; launched new work in rural arts and culture; expanded efforts to support veterans, women and new Americans in agriculture, entrepreneurship and in their communities; started gardening training programs and farmers markets alongside the Santee Sioux Nation and Omaha Nation; and continued efforts to engage rural people nationwide in policy debates that shape the future of small town America.

“I come to work every day with a lot of capable people; this staff and board,” Depew said. “Best, and most energizing of all, are all the folks who we get to work with each and every day.”

Depew lives on a small farm outside of Lyons and enjoys chopping wood, working in the garden and tending his small flock of sheep.


You can find a photo of the award ceremony on our website.

CUTLINE: Brian Depew, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, was honored by Vern Barrett, president of the Center for Rural Affairs board, early in March. Depew received the “Outstanding Service Award” for 10 years of employment.

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